Sunday, November 6, 2016

District Control Explained

The U.S. military (and Resolute Support) continues to be vague on the topic of district control in Afghanistan. The latest Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report (October 2016) uses data from the Resolute Support mission that low-balls the amount of districts that the Taliban have control of. One of the key factors in determining district control used by the Afghan government and Resolute Support is who occupies the district center. The district center is typically a walled compound that contains several buildings. The district center usually houses the offices of the district governor, district chief of police, members of the Afghan National Police, and other district government officials. In dangerous districts these government officials (to include the district governor) are seldom present. In many areas of Afghanistan (for instance Helmand province) the district centers are under siege and the police (and Army if present) are resupplied sporadically by helicopter because the Taliban control the roads and countryside. Learn more about district control in "Analysis: US military assessment of Taliban control of Afghan districts is flawed", The Long War Journal, November 2, 2016.

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