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Government Control Slips, Says Latest SIGAR Report

Source: Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction

January 31 2019


The percentage of Afghan territory under government control has fallen for another quarter, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

Between July and October, Kabul lost control of seven districts, a 2 percent decline, according to the report that was released on Thursday.

The number of districts under government control fell to 53.8 percent or 219 districts. Only 63.5 percent of the population lives in areas under government authority, down from 65.2 percent in the previous quarter, reported Agence France-Presse. 

Although the Taliban increased its control by one district, most of the government losses were attributed to a rise in the number of contested districts. 

An estimated 138 of Afghanistan's 407 districts are now contested, says the report. 

About 849 Afghan military personnel have been killed each month since September 2014, according to the report. This has led to attrition in the security forces, which stood at about 308,000 personnel in the period covered, about 87.7 percent of its authorized personnel strength. This is the lowest level since Afghan forces took full responsibility for security in January 2015. 

The report also highlights shortages in training pilots, crews and maintainers for UH-60 and MD 530 helicopters. 

Based on the current delivery schedule, it is unlikely that the force will have enough trained pilots when the 159 UH-60s are delivered by 2023. 

The SIGAR report also faulted the Pentagon for the lack of maintenance training for the helicopter. 

The document noted a significant increase in U.S. airstrikes, with 6,823 munitions dropped over the first 11 months of 2018.

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