According to documents obtained by the Washington Post, U.S. senior officials have been painting a brighter picture of the state of the 18-year war in Afghanistan. These documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Bob Crowley, an Army colonel and senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, said in an interview, ‘every data point was altered to present the best picture possible.’
Documents of interviews that were conducted by John Sopko, head of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), demonstrate that the American people have been lied to. Conducting more than 600 interviews for a 2014 initiative called ‘Lessons Learned,’ SIGAR was meant to put together an initiative that would prevent the U.S. military from making the same mistakes in Afghanistan. Interviews included Americans, Afghan officials and NATO allies. Seven Lessons Learned were published, but they omitted blunt language and grim judgments, creating a rosier picture than there truly was.
More than 2,000 pages of unpublished notes and 400 interview transcripts were obtained by the newspaper after suing SIGAR twice. The Post sued for names to be revealed. Despite the U.S. and Taliban being in the middle of negotiations, the newspaper published the documents anyway.
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