Watchdog report questions US claim on Afghan war progress

A government watchdog is taking issue with Pentagon assertions that momentum in the fight against the Taliban has shifted to Afghan government forces.

The report released Monday by the Pentagon's inspector general's office says that while Afghan security forces are improving, they have made minimal progress toward securing the population. It also said the number of Afghan fighting forces has continued to decline, raising concerns about their effectiveness.

The Trump administration, in launching a new war strategy last August, said it was taking stronger measures to compel the Taliban to join peace talks. But Monday's report to Congress said there was little publicly available evidence that the actions to increase pressure on the Taliban were having a significant impact.