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Afghan commandos forces take part in an operations against the Taliban, IS and other insurgent groups. Photo: Wali Sabawoon / NurPhoto via Getty Images

A report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reveals that as of Aug. 12, 2016, seven reports of child sexual assault from Afghan security forces were being tracked by the State and Defense Departments. One was found credible, and five are still under review.

Why it matters: Per SIGAR, the DOD has continued funding Afghan forces that were implicated in human rights violations.

The "Leahy laws," which stem from a joint forum between the DOD and State, require that U.S. funding be cut if the departments have "credible information that a unit of a foreign security force has committed a gross violation of human rights."

More findings from the report:

  • A notwithstanding clause in the DOD Appropriations Act has been interpreted to allow the Defense Secretary to "forgo implementation of the Leahy Law in specific cases or more broadly if necessary."
  • The clause was cited to continue funding 12 Afghan units "implicated in 14 gross violations of human rights incidents in 2013."
  • The DOD didn't have specific guidelines on the reporting of human rights violations in Afghanistan until 2011, 10 years after the U.S. arrived in the country.

Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col Mike Andrews, said in a statement: "The SIGAR report acknowledges that there is no evidence the DoD condones gross violations of human rights by Afghan Security Forces, or provided guidance telling service members to ignore any instances...The Department of Defense has never used the notwithstanding authority to continue assistance to a member of the Afghan forces or an Afghan unit as a result of a determination that allegations of child sexual assault were credible."

Go deeper

57 mins ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

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