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U.S. Officials Lied About War in Afghanistan.

John Sopko, head of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which conducted hundreds of interviews to diagnose policy failures in Afghanistan, told the Washington Post that documents uncovered during the interviews demonstrate that "the American people have constantly been lied to" about Afghanistan. The Post released the results of its findings on December 9.

The Post obtained more than 2,000 pages of documents through a Freedom of Information Act request made three years ago in order to obtain access to the documents, which were part of a lengthy government report entitled Lessons Learned that studied "the root failures" of the war effort.

Those compiling the report interviewed more than 600 people who played a direct role in the war during the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, including a number of foreigners associated with NATO and 20 Afghan officials. The interviews began in 2014, according to the Post, and seven parts of the report have been published since 2016.

Among those cited in the interviews was Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who was the White blouse's Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations. Lute told government interviewers in 2015: "We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan--we didn't know what we were doing."

"If [only] the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction ... 2,400 lives lost," Lute said, blaming the deaths of American troops on bureaucratic breakdowns among Congress, the Pentagon, and the State Department.

In an interview with Martha MacCallum of Fox News, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) provided his take on the issue. "I think our young men and women that we send to war, our best and our brightest, they deserve better," Paul told MacCallum. "They deserve an open airing of what is the mission. I've been saying for several years now that I can't meet a general anywhere who can tell me really what is the mission we're trying to accomplish in Afghanistan."

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Title Annotation:Inside Track
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jan 20, 2020
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