Key data on Afghan conflict no longer available, US watchdog says
dpa, Hamburg, Germany
NATO’s Resolute Support mission has stopped producing key data on the progress of the campaign against the Taliban in war-torn Afghanistan, a US Congress watchdog reported on Wednesday.
The data on who controls which districts in the country, one of the most vital indicators of progress – or lack thereof – by Afghan forces in the fight against the Taliban, is no longer available, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
SIGAR said Resolute Support had decided the assessments were “of limited decision-making value to the [Resolute Support] commander.”
Previously, important data on the development of the Afghan conflict has been censored. In January 2018, Resolute Support was told by the US Defence Department to no longer publish district and population control data publicly.
In October 2017, SIGAR said that it would no longer release casualty and attrition rates in the Afghan army and police forces after a request from the Afghan government. The casualty figures among Afghan forces have remained classified since then.
The latest data published in January this year showed that the Afghan government only controlled or influenced 53.8 per cent of 407 districts across the country as of October last year.
The control of the government has continuously decreased over the past years.
Although the actual number of casualties among Afghan forces is no longer available to the public, SIGAR’s latest report says that casualties rose by 31 per cent between December 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019.
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