Small Wars Journal

Classified or Nonexistent: Tracking Taliban Control Goes Dark as Focus Shifts to Getting Out

Classified or Nonexistent: Tracking Taliban Control Goes Dark as Focus Shifts to Getting Out by Kyle Rempfer – Military Times

The war in Afghanistan is getting harder to track for the American public, as U.S. military officials there have decided to no longer report how much of the country is controlled or influenced by the Taliban or other insurgent forces, according to oversight officials.

 

The change marks an important waypoint for the U.S. mission.

 

Rather than compile subjective metrics detailing how much of the country and population the Afghan government controls, the focus is instead on concluding the war on terms favorable to Afghanistan and the United States, military officials said. Critics, however, contend that the change is the result of so much of Afghanistan still being controlled by insurgents.

 

U.S. diplomats want to implement a cease-fire and negotiate a peace settlement based on the current map and territory controlled. The Taliban, meanwhile, have announced their annual spring offensive. The insurgent group is poised to continue seeking leverage.

 

While district control data did not on its own indicate the success or failure of the U.S. mission, it did contribute to an overall understanding of the war there, which has cost more than 2,400 U.S. lives and trillions of dollars…

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