Pentagon Report: Afghan Civilian Casualties at ‘Record Highs’

Warns Congress Security Situation 'Dominated' by Resilient Taliban

A new 116-page Pentagon report to Congress on the ongoing war in Afghanistan is painting a mighty bleak picture, noting that the period ending on May 31 saw “record high” levels of civilian casualties in the country, which they attributed to increased urban fighting and a “resilient insurgency.”

Indeed, the report heavily focused on that idea, the resilience of the Taliban, which some 15 years into the US occupation is now said to control more territory than it has at any time during the war, is consistently beating the Afghan military in Helmand and Kunduz, and shows no signs of slowing down.

The report again tries to claim “progress” on the part of the Afghan military, claiming they’re improving over last year, even though they’re still unable to really handle the mounting losses, and are still facing a high 2.4% attrition rate.

The report also downplayed the status of ISIS in Afghanistan, saying they are limited to “low-level recruiting and distributing propaganda,” and that they are getting little support from the parent group in Syria.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.