SIGAR Supplements January Report on Afghan Military

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko released a supplement Tuesday to his January quarterly report to Congress, criticizing the Defense Department for “inconsistent” reporting practices and lack of key figures. NATO’s Operation Resolute Support Commander, Army Gen. John Campbell, told SIGAR that his command had decided to declassify a large amount of previously classified data a week before the report’s original release in January, and that his staff had uncovered an “accounting error” on Afghan military strength between April and October 2014. Although this information was sent to the Pentagon, it was not provided to SIGAR, despite numerous reviews, according to SIGAR. The new numbers show the Afghan Army declined by 15,636 personnel, or 8.5 percent from February to November 2014, its lowest assigned force since August 2011. It also notes attrition continues to be a “major challenge” for the Afghans. US officials have not provided consistent documentation on the fluctuations in force levels, SIGAR charges. Sopko noted some figures remain classified; specifically Air Force equipment requirements, and the number of AAF trained pilots. Sopko has been critical of some AAF procurement efforts. Between Fiscal 2010 and 2014, the US provided more than $6.5 billion to support and develop the AAF, including over $3.2 billion for equipment and aircraft. (Read the full report; Caution, large-sized file.)