TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REPORT TO US CONGRESS Afghan Govt’s Control Over Districts Hits Lowest
About two-thirds of Afghan’s population lives in the areas still under Kabul’s control
New Delhi: The Afghan government has lost control over a record number of districts this year,thoughTalibantoohavelostsomeareas, saidaTrumpadministrationreportsenttoUS Congress this week. The report focuses on the period between July 1 and September 30, 2018. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which prepares these quarterly reports for the US Congress, notes that Afghanistan’s thinly stretched security forces have been unable to retain control over vast areas of the country.
The losing inf luence of Afghan security forces is a headache for India, which has invested heavily in various projects in the landlocked country. Afghan forces have also sustained record casualties during this period, the report noted. “Unclassified data shows the Afghan National Defence Security Forces (ANDSF) made minimal or no progress in pressuring the Taliban over the quarter,” the report SAID, quoting Pentagon data.
Data showed that “the ANDSF failed to gain greater control or influence over districts, population and territory this quarter. While the districts, territory, and population un- der insurgent control or influence also decreased slightly, the districts, territory, and population contested … increased”.
The report describes the “uncontested” areas as those under neither Afghan government nor insurgent control or influence.
The report points out that Afghan govern- ment control or influence over the country’s districts reached the lowest level (55.5%) since SIGAR began tracking district control in November 2015. The Afghan government now controls or inf luences districts in which about 65% of the population lives, unchanged since October 2017.
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in Kabul. Number of people living in contested areas