The Pentagon is under fire for the lack of information about the number of troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.
The public Pentagon website, which had for more than a decade provided information about troop numbers, has posted none for war zones in those countries, NPR's David Welna reported.
A Pentagon spokesman told Welna information was not displayed to "protect our forces.""We have to make sure that the American people know what their forces are doing . . . but we have to protect our forces as well," Army Maj. Adrian Galloway said. "And a part of that is making sure that we keep a handle on what information we release to the public in general."
Galloway said there are an "approximate" 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.
"I do know the real numbers, but unfortunately the real number is classified, and I just can't talk about it," Galloway told NPR, adding announcing the numbers could "telegraph to our adversaries what it is we're doing at a particular time."
Jason Dempsey, an analyst with Center for a New American Security, rejected the lack of information, saying, "I've yet to hear anybody articulate one instance where those numbers led to an operational risk."
Loren DeJonge Schulman, who served on the National Security Council during the Obama administration told NPR: "If we don't start those conversations, Americans will have no way of knowing we have thousands of troops at risk overseas."
In August 2017, President Donald Trump said, "We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities."
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