Pentagon May Be Fudging Numbers in ISIS Fight

Its inspector general is looking into allegations
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2015 1:40 PM CDT
Pentagon May Be Fudging Numbers in ISIS Fight
In this Aug. 6 photo, smoke rises after ISIS positions are bombed in Anbar province, Iraq.   (AP Photo)

Next time a US policy maker is talking about the progress being made against ISIS, it might be wise to be extra skeptical. The New York Times reports that the Pentagon's inspector general is looking into allegations that intelligence analyses are being goosed to present a picture rosier than reality. The particulars remain unclear, but at least one civilian analyst accused US Central Command of changing analysts' conclusions in reports that get passed up the chain.

For context, the story notes that it's common, even encouraged, for different agencies to reach conflicting conclusions, which means what's potentially going on here is beyond the norm—perhaps in violation of stated rules against using "distorted" data to push an agenda. The White House authorized a bombing campaign against the Islamic State last year, though major Iraqi cities such as Mosul and Ramadi remain under the group's control. (More ISIS stories.)

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