Hagel orders shakeup of MIA accounting mission

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering a shakeup of agencies responsible for accounting for tens of thousands of Americans missing in action from foreign wars, a mission heavily criticized as wasteful and fragmented.

Hagel's press secretary, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, announced Thursday that Hagel wants the two main accounting agencies combined into a single organization. For years the two groups have engaged in bureaucratic warfare.

Hagel ordered his policy chief to give him a plan within 30 days to better account for as many of the missing as possible _ and to make the government's accounting work more transparent to families of the missing.

The issue surfaced last summer when The Associated Press revealed an internal report calling the accounting mission "dysfunctional" and inept.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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