In January, the Department of Defense ordered the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) not to publish certain data on areas of Afghanistan that were held by insurgents.
“This development is troubling for a number of reasons, not least of which is that this is the first time SIGAR has been specifically instructed not to release information marked ‘unclassified’ to the American taxpayer,” the SIGAR said in its January 2018 report to Congress.
But the Department of Defense soon reversed course, saying it was an error to withhold that information.
Last week, the SIGAR published an addendum to its January report that provided the previously suppressed data. In addition, a detailed control map and the underlying data for each of Afghanistan’s 407 districts were declassified and published. See Addendum to SIGAR’s January 2018 Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, February 26, 2018.
The basic thrust of the new data is that Afghan government control of the country is at its lowest reported level since December 2015, while insurgency control is at its highest.
“The percentage of districts under insurgent control or influence has doubled since 2015,” the SIGAR addendum said.