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afghanistan

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Pentagon moves to restrict public knowledge of progress in Afghanistan

Pentagon moves to restrict public knowledge of progress in Afghanistan

Yesterday’s Quarterly Report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan had a very different tone from the President’s remarks regarding transparency on efforts in the Middle East. While it may be true, as Trump claims, that “We no longer tell our enemies our plans,” according to the SIGAR report, we’re no longer telling Congress, much less the American people, either.

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SIGAR finds millions wasted in Afghanistan economic development efforts

SIGAR finds millions wasted in Afghanistan economic development efforts

In the latest release from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the agency found that recent U.S.-funded economic development projects in the Middle Eastern country have been largely unsuccessful, and with little to show for the $823 million appropriated to the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, a temporary organization tasked from 2010 through 2014 with executing economic development projects in Afghanistan.

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Agency Voice: The Government Accountability Office's Charles Young and John Bielec

Agency Voice: The Government Accountability Office’s Charles Young and John Bielec

For Congress to get the background and facts they need to consider legislation and oversee the operations of the executive branch, it relies on the Government Accountability Office. Earlier this week, MuckRock had the opportunity to speak with Charles Young, Managing Director of Public Affairs, and John Bielec of the GAO Office of General Counsel.

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UNC-Chapel Hill won a $866 thousand grant to produce counter-jihadist propaganda for Homeland Security

UNC-Chapel Hill won a $866 thousand grant to produce counter-jihadist propaganda for Homeland Security

In the last days of Obama’s presidency, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won a grant worth $866,687 under the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism initiative to produce counter-jihadist propaganda. According to the proposal, the University will invest the money in hiring 36 undergraduate students with a background in “study of jihadist messaging strategies, video game design, and media production.”

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Bribery allegations  in Afghanistan no small worry among big U.S. reconstruction spending

Bribery allegations in Afghanistan no small worry among big U.S. reconstruction spending

After 15 years and $110 billion, the scorecard of successes for U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan has tallied yet another loss. A second sergeant was recently sentenced in connection with a bribery and money laundering scandal involving over $30 million in contract awards at the Humanitarian Air Yard at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. The story caught just a blip of coverage, but it offers a sense of the troubles that continue to face American efforts.

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