Home South Asia Afghanistan Kabul regime lost more territory to Taliban in 2018, U.S admits

Kabul regime lost more territory to Taliban in 2018, U.S admits

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News Analysis |

The office of the Special Inspector General Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a US body mandated with preparing quarterly reports regarding the situation in Afghanistan, has submitted its report to Congress admitting that Taliban have continued to secure more ground and population.

The report points out that the population under the control of Afghan forces reduced from 65 percent in July to 63 percent by the end of October 2018. “Afghan government control or influence continued to decline, and insurgent control or influence increased slightly since July 2018,” the report said.

“The US government overestimated its ability to build and reform government institutions in Afghanistan as part of its $4.7 billion stabilization efforts,” the report says.

The Afghan government has lost control of nearly 7 districts to insurgents since 2017. Though the government still has control or influence over 53 percent of the total districts in Afghanistan, the Taliban have continued their march and have threatened more territory, the report said.

Insurgent control or influence of Afghanistan’s districts increased marginally: there were 50 districts under insurgent control (12) or influence (38) this quarter. This is an increase of one district since last quarter, but a decrease of eight compared to the same period in 2017. As much as nearly 39 percent of the territory finds itself in a tussle of gaining control between the government forces and the Taliban.

Failure of South Asia Policy

Donald Trump after taking over the oval office presented a New South Asia Policy back in September 2017 in order to bring the longest war in the U.S history to its logical conclusion. What many termed as just a change of bottle for the old wine, the crux of the strategy was to undermine the traditional role of Pakistan in Afghanistan and promoting India in the region.

Read more: Taliban hybrid war that defeated the USA

It was exactly the opposite of what Pakistan has been asking the United States of America to do as India sitting on both eastern and western borders of the country is an existential threat for Pakistan. But, as anticipated, the strategy turned out to be an utter failure as the reports suggested that the Trump administration was already reviewing it within a span of a year.

SIGAR report also highlights the failure of this strategy. As per the SIGAR report, the district-stability data obtained via U.S military and civil personnel in Afghanistan is highly indicative of the failure which President Trump policy for Afghanistan has faced. America which during the early years of war, simply refused to take part in the nation-building arguing the sole reason of campaign was to eliminate extremism from the country has gradually realized that nation building the pre-requisite for bringing stability.

Insurgent control or influence of Afghanistan’s districts increased marginally: there were 50 districts under insurgent control (12) or influence (38) this quarter.

After years spending billions of dollars in, the report from SIGAR based on the observations of a delegation is sent to Afghanistan last year suggest that the entire modus operandi of development employed by the U.S in Afghanistan is unstable.

“The US government overestimated its ability to build and reform government institutions in Afghanistan as part of its $4.7 billion stabilization efforts,” the report says. “The stabilization strategy and the programs used to achieve it were not properly tailored to the Afghan context, and that successes in stabilizing Afghan districts rarely lasted longer than the physical presence of Coalition troops and civilians.”

Read more: Apparent breakthrough in Afghan peace talks

Hopes for a solution coming out of the ongoing dialogue between the United States of America and the Taliban are high. But the key to the process is finding a way for the sustainable growth of its economy providing the people of Afghanistan opportunities to better their standard to living. So far there has been no indication of how it will be achieved as currently, the primary concern of involved parties is to take care of the precarious security condition of the country.


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