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In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 photo, an Afghan soldier guards a checkpoint on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. After two years of heavy casualties, the Afghan military is trying to retake the initiative in the war against militants with a new offensive next week, an assault that will see American troops back working more closely with Afghan soldiers. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

A US report says Afghanistan forces still aren't ready to secure the nation alone


A U.S. report published last week suggests Afghan forces are still not capable of securing the country by itself, which puts it at risk of once again becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups.

The report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR) lists high-risk areas for the nation, including corruption, limited capabilities of security forces and a lack of sustainability.

Reconstructing Afghanistan has been the largest expenditure to rebuild a single country in our nation's history.
SIGAR report

According to the report, 2,247 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan. After adjusting for inflation, the U.S. spent more on Afghanistan than it did on the Marshall Plan to rebuild post-WWII Europe.

As of August 2016, 63.4 percent of Afghan districts were under government control, a drop from 72 percent as of fall 2015. 

The report claims corruption continues to weaken the nation's military and the government's ability to generate popular support against insurgent groups.

"A lack of emphasis on planning and developing related strategies means the U.S. military and civilian agencies are at risk of working at cross purposes, spending money on nonessential endeavors, or failing to coordinate efforts in Afghanistan," the report claimed.

It also pointed to the still-thriving narcotics industry in Afghanistan. Many terrorist groups are funded by the opium trade. Despite $8.5 billion in counternarcotics efforts, the U.S. has not been able to curb that trade. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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