Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ABRUPT CLASSIFICATION OF US AID DATA IS GROUNDS TO RAISE COUNTRY RISK ON AFGHANISTAN



As of January 1, 2015, certain information of American military & law enforcement aid to the Afghan Government has been classified by the United States. This information, which was open-source unclassified for a decade, has been an important tool in the assessment of Country Risk for Afghanistan, and its abrupt and, in the opinion of several US Congressmen, unnecessary, classification means that one must seriously consider raising Country Risk.

In making an educated assessment of the possibility that Afghanistan could go the way of Iraq, meaning the use of favoritism in assigning leadership positions, and fielding an army that is unable or unwilling to defend its country, one needs to know, among other things:

(1) How many men have deserted from the Afghan Army and police forces each year ?
(2) How many have been Killed in Action (KIA) ?
(3) How many soldiers received less-than-honorable discharges ?
(4) Whether the military and police force units are up to their assigned strength.

Inasmuch as we will be in the dark on these facts, due to the US Government's opinion that such information, which is sensitive, could aid the Taliban, and place the US advisers and American contractors at risk, there is really no other choice, but to raise Country Risk. After all, any investment in Afghanistan, extension of credit, erection of brick-and-mortar bank branches, or other financial risks, could wind up as a total loss, should a resurgent Taliban defeat the Afghan Army on the field of battle. Consider the facts, and draw your own conclusions, but in my humble opinion, risk levels are now elevated.

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