The U.S. military proudly touted a 7 percent drop in Taliban violence in 2012 as a measure of progress in America’s longest war. Only one problem: The drop never happened.
Its explanation: a data-entry error.
The Associated Press’ Robert Burns discovered the mistake, which undercut a January claim by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO military command in Afghanistan. In reality, Burns reports, there was no substantive change in the level of “enemy-initiated attacks” in Afghanistan during 2012.
“During a quality control check, ISAF recently became aware that some data was incorrectly entered into the database that is used for tracking security-related incidents across Afghanistan,” ISAF spokesman Jamie Graybeal told Burns.
Only the Pentagon is denying that the statistical flatlining in enemy violence has any impact on its claims of progress in the war.