NYT report accuses US government of misleading Americans on Afghan situation

The report claims that the government is fudging data in a bid to show it is in complete control of the situation in Afghanistan.

NYT report accuses US government of misleading Americans on Afghan situation
Photo courtesy: Pixabay

A damning report published by the New York Times has pointed the accusatory finger at the US government and said that Americans are being misled regarding the ground reality and situation in Afghanistan.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in October of 2001 in a bid to wipe out Taliban from the country. The report in NYT claims that despite the US government's tall claims of successes, Taliban now controls or contests in 61 per cent of the country's area as against 44 per cent claimed by Washington. This figure is believed to be bigger than ever since the US invasion.

Then the claim of the US military that the Afghan government is in control or has influence in 56 per cent of the country is debunked as a result of 'statistical sleight of hand.' The report counters saying that the Afghan government is only controlling district headquarters and military barracks and that everything else has fallen to Taliban.

One of the objectives of the US in Afghanistan was to help the country build a solid millitary and police force. The NYT says that the claim that there are 10 Afghan security personnel for every Taliban insurgent is shoddy because Afghan officials themselves believe a third of the security personnel have either left service or deserted. Afghan officials are also attributed to saying that 13,600 insurgents were killed in the country in 2017 which is half the number claimed by the US government.

It is estimated that the US has spent $840 billion fighting Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001 and has lost 2,200 of its own soldiers. There was a move to pull out a large number of American troops towards the end of Barack Obama's term as US President but it never happened. Meanwhile, to counter a growing resentment against Americans against the campaign in Afghanistan, some suspect that false numbers and claims are being made to justify staying in the country. The Hollywood movie Fury - although fictional - took a hilarious dig at what is otherwise a grim situation for the Americans in Afghanistan.

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