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We just filed #FOIA requests with @DeptofDefense for troop numbers in #Afghanistan #Iraq #Syria.

Administrations gave Americans this info for DECADES.

SecDef #Mattis committed to even more transparency.

Then poof: late 2017, DoD went dark.…
2. Read what former Defense Secretary (and former Republican Senator) Chuck Hagel said about our FOIA request for US troop numbers:
3. “Secretary Mattis is committed to developing a more transparent accounting of our troops in the field than he inherited.”

Pentagon’s chief spokesperson to @jamiejmcintyre August 29, 2017…
4. The great @saftergood (government secrecy expert @FAScientists) comments on our FOIA request and the hidden Pentagon information:

“Of all the things that DoD has done to limit public access to information, this is probably the most egregious,”
5. Fascinating comments by retired Lt General @TomSpoehr in @julianborger's reporting on our #FOIA request.

“I could never find a written memo, but he [Mattis] essentially told all the services to clamp down on what they were releasing to the public.”…
6. "I've yet to hear anybody articulate one instance where those numbers led to an operational risk."

@Jason_K_Dempsey (former Special Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) in 2018 @NPRwelna interview.…
6. @Jason_K_Dempsey: "What we're essentially saying is, we don't want an engaged public."

Same NPR segment: @LorenRaeDeJ (former NSC and DoD):

"Numbers are a kind of bad shorthand for talking about American commitments, but they're a useful starting point for a conversation."
7. Great analysis from 2018 by @LorenRaeDeJ @ahfdc:

"Perhaps the most consequential change has been an unstated decision to offer significantly less information to the American people on where, and for what purpose, U.S. troops are in combat overseas."…
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