SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress – October 2018

The October 2018 SIGAR quarterly report to Congress has been published and is online. It is a look at a variety of topics (security, counternarcotics, development, governance, etc.) about Afghanistan, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), and the deteriorating security situation. Of note . . .

“. . . the ANDSF made minimal or no progress in pressuring the Taliban over the quarter. RS-provided data showed that the ANDSF failed to gain greater control or influence over districts, population, and territory this quarter”.

Some of the key findings in the 267-page report Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction include:

District Control

Control of the districts by the government is slipping . . .

“Afghan government control or influence of its districts reached the lowest level (55.5%) since SIGAR began tracking district control in late 2015.¬†Since that time, Afghan government control and influence over its districts has declined by about 16 percentage points; contested districts have increased by about 11 points; and insurgent control or influence has risen by 5.5 points.”

A disappointing trend that seems likely to continue.

Civilian Casualties

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded almost 700 civilian casualties due to air strikes by pro-government forces from January to the end of September (2018). This was a 39% increase from the same period in 2017.


Corruption in Afghanistan continues – especially within the judiciary and the Afghan attorney general’s office. The Anti-Corruption Justice Center or ACJC is not going after high-level corrupt officials; rather it is targeting low-level officials – probably in an attempt to placate international donor nations.


Personnel strength of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces is at its lowest level since 2012. The ANDSF is missing 40,000 personnel or roughly 11% of its authorized force.

The integration of women into the ANDSF is not going very well. The exact strength for female personnel in the ANDSF has been classified by Resolute Support HQs. Efforts to recruit women for the Afghan National Army (ANA) is currently on hold. The Ministry of Defense is not actively recruiting women for the ANA.

Insider Attacks

The United States Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) reported that 56 green-on-green attacks (Afghan on Afghan insider attacks) took place so far in 2018.


The US government has – from 2002 to 2018 – spent about $1.5 million a day to help the Afghans combat narcotics. Results from this effort are disappointing – the 2017 poppy cultivation is four times what it was in 2002. Counternarcotics in Afghanistan seems to have little support in the US government and military. There are little new programs in the works to address the opium-poppy cultivation.

SOF Topics

ALP. The Afghan Local Police continue to receive some support from NATO Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan (NSOCC-A)¬† – mostly in the form of advisors to the Afghan Local Police directorate at the Ministry of Interior (MoI). The ALP has roughly 28,000 ‘guardians’ and as a unit they suffer the most personnel killed in action of any unit in Afghanistan because they fight in remote locations without any significant backup.

ASSF. The data on the Special Mission Wing was classified by NSOCC-A and is included in the classified version of this report. There was very little data about Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF) in this report.


You can read or download the SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress (Oct 2018) at this link:

Photo: Photo by SIGAR.

About John Friberg 201 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.