Mattis Reveals Number Of Afghan Military Deaths Days After Dunford Says They're Not Releasable

Bullet Points

A “Washington gaffe” is defined as telling the truth, and Defense Secretary James Mattis may have just done that when talking on Tuesday about Afghan casualties.


  • In late 2017, defense officials stopped publishing the numbers of Afghan security forces who had been killed and wounded. The reason given was the Afghan government had purview over that data and did not want it to be publicly available.
  • But that didn’t stop Mattis, who spoke Tuesday at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
  • “The Afghan lads are doing the fighting, just look at the casualties: Over 1,000 dead and wounded in August and September and they stayed in the field fighting,” Mattis said.
  • Mattis’ revelation comes just days after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford became noticeable irritated when a reporter said the Pentagon was concealing casualty figures for the Afghan security forces.
  • “The rationale for not posting it is [Afghan] President Ghani directed that we not do that,” Dunford said on Oct. 26 at the Military Reporters and Editors annual conference. “I’m not blaming him. That’s where it came from. The Afghans did not want to report this. They were incredibly sensitive about those numbers. We don’t own the numbers anymore.”
  • However, the U.S. military does provide data on Afghan casualties to Congress “in a classified venue,” he continued.
  • An Afghan governor told the New York Times in September that the Taliban are inflicting devastating casualties on Afghan security forces.
  • “The Taliban don’t want peace, because they think they can win the war,” Baghlan Province Governor Abdul Hai Nimati said. “If it goes on like this, they’re going to win.”

SEE ALSO: Security In Afghanistan Is So Bad That The Media Cared Again For A Few Minutes

WATCH NEXT:

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less

R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.

Read More Show Less
A B-2 Spirit bomber deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing fly near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, during a interoperability training mission Jan. 15, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)

The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.

These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.

Read More Show Less

A Ranger has died after being wounded by small arms fire during a Jan. 13 battle in northwest Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sgt. Trey Troney (U.S. Army photo)

It's a familiar tale of service to American society far beyond the U.S. armed forces. A soldier encounters a traffic accident while traveling home and immediately rushes to aid a driver trapped in his vehicle and, after freeing him, saves his life with nothing more than a hoodie, a pen, and the training he received from his unit's medics. It's the stuff that Army recruiting commercials are made of.

Except there's one problem: It's most likely bullshit.

Read More Show Less