US Report: Afghan Govt’s Control Over the Country Declining

Afghan military's strength lowest in four years

A new report from the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) once again offers a gloomy assessment of the war in Afghanistan. This report centers on the Afghan military’s declining control over the country, and its waning strength.

The Afghan government continued to lose territory, holding 63.5% of the population’s territory, down another 1.7% int he last three months, while the Taliban made substantial gains into the territory that was considered “contested” in the previous report.

Only 53.8% of all districts in Afghanistan remain under control,  with another seven lost. 33.9% remain contested. The Pentagon insisted that those metrics are “no longer important,” which is in keeping with the Pentagon insisting that none of the metrics that are going badly matter.

The Afghan military has weakened further as well, and is now estimated to be at its weakest point in four years. This estimate is difficult to quantify, as much of the Afghan military exists only on paper as “ghost troops” to facilitate corruption.

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.