US Military Stops Keeping Track of How Much of Afghanistan Is Taliban Controlled

Officials now say data is of limited value

Having long insisted that data on control of Afghan territory was “the metric that’s most telling in a counterinsurgency,” the Pentagon has informed the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) that they will no longer be keeping track of that at all, and won’t be providing that data to SIGAR.

SIGAR John Sipko was critical of the move, saying that the Pentagon was providing even less information for the American taxpayers to “gauge whether their investment in Afghanistan is a success.”

Pentagon officials, however, say that they now view the data to be “of limited value” for decision making. The move is likely more about the Trump Administration’s general policy of opaqueness, however.

Officials are hesitant to provide the public with any specific information about US wars worldwide now, and with recent figures on territory controlled in Afghanistan creepy dangerously close to 50%, it is likely the Pentagon has decided to avoid media coverage of the point where the Taliban controls more than half of the country by just not telling anybody when it happens.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of