The Taliban has more reach in Afghanistan than it has maintained since American forces facilitated the group’s ouster in 2001, according to data from the United Nations gathered in early September.
CNBC reported that, according to the not publicly released information, U.N. security officials rated the threat level as “high” or “extreme” in approximately half of Afghanistan’s districts. As of September, 186 of Afghanistan’s 376 districts had been given these classifications, a larger figure than ever recorded in 2001.
An extreme threat level rating indicates that the particular district has no presence of Afghan government forces or one reduced to its capital. Thirty-eight of the districts were given extreme threat ratings, representing more than 10 percent of all districts.
Moreover, the data suggested that the pace at which the Taliban has expanded its reach has quickened in many areas that previously had witnessed no Taliban presence.