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WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring an end to "mindless austerity," President Barack Obama called for a surge in government spending Thursday, and asked Congress to throw out the sweeping spending cuts both parties agreed to four years ago when deficits were spiraling out of control.
The US military will no longer divulge facts and figures about its costly effort to assist Afghan security forces, declaring the information top secret, officials said Thursday. The move marks an about-face for the Pentagon, which for the past six years has reported a range of data about the $65 billion program to build up the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). "The decision leaves SIGAR unable to publicly report on most of the $65 billion US-taxpayer-funded efforts to build, train, equip and sustain the ANSF," Sopko's office said in its latest report. The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, defended the move, saying the information -- which includes an assessment of the combat readiness of Afghan units -- could prove helpful to Taliban insurgents and needed to be kept secret.