According to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the assessment was jointly made by Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry and the National Directorate of Security. The provinces cited in the report were Kandahar, Zabul, Helmand and Uruzgan.
The Interior Ministry declined to make comment.
The term "ghost soldiers" refers to the problematic practice of fabricating (and usually inflating) the number of military and security personnel, and has been the focus ofmultiple reportsfrom SIGAR over the years.
A 2019 SIGAR report indicated that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces personnel strength had declined by 10 percent over the previous year after a new systempurged 42,000 non-existent soldiers from the rolls.
But according to the latest SIGAR report, the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan’s new integrated electronic system — theAfghan Personnel and Pay System, or APPS — revealed that the gap between the ANDSF's true end strength and previously recorded levels was actually closer to 58,478 fewer personnel.