SIGAR released its 37th Quarterly Report to the US Congress yesterday, detailing the tough challenges ahead for Afghanistan.
The struggle continues as the Afghan government’s district and population control has deteriorated to its lowest levels since SIGAR began analyzing this data.
According to USFOR-A, 56.8% of Afghanistan’s districts are under government control or influence, a one-point decline over the last six months and a more than six-point decline over the same period last year.
Insurgents control or influence 13.3% of Afghanistan’s districts, a more than two percentage point increase over the last six months and five-point increase from the same period last year.
Sigar furthers the United Nations has reported a record level of armed clashes in 2017 compared to previous years of the conflict.
Civilian casualties from Coalition and Afghan air operations have increased 52% as the United States has taken on a greater combat role, dropping the most munitions against the Taliban and Islamic State since 2012 (751 in September) and conducting the most airstrikes since 2014 (2,400 from January to September).
According to the report, as the US commitment increases, American combat casualties have risen.
From January 1 through August 23, 2017, 10 U.S. military personnel were killed in Afghanistan, and 48 were wounded- 7 killed and 22 wounded in the past quarter.
American combat casualties in the past quarter were double the personnel killed in action during the same periods in 2015 and 2016.