Pentagon watchdog raises doubts about Afghan war progress

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon watchdog agency is raising fresh doubts about progress in the 16-year-old U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The agency says the Afghan government by the end of 2017 had not expanded its areas of control, even as the U.S. added about 3,500 troops and intensified airstrikes against the Taliban.

In its report released Friday, the Pentagon’s office of inspector general said it is too early to judge whether the war strategy announced by President Donald Trump in August will achieve its main goal of compelling the Taliban to reconcile with the government in Kabul. It said it’s difficult to measure the plan’s effectiveness because potentially useful pieces of information — such as Afghan military casualty rates — are no longer publicly available.

It suggested more yardsticks of progress are needed.

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