Centcom Data: US Airstrikes Rose 40% in Afghanistan in 2016

Officials Vow Aggressive Strikes Will Continue in 2017

While a lot of the focus of America’s endless parade of air wars centers on Iraq and Syria, the 15+ year long war in Afghanistan is continuing apace, with the latest Centcom data showing US airstrikes in the country up 40% over the previous year.

That’s 1,337 weapons dropped by US forces in Afghanistan in 2016, with no sign the escalation is slowing down. Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland confirmed Sunday that the US intends to contiinue with “Aggressive” use of airstrikes “to achieve strategic effects.”

ThisĀ  revelation adds to the signs of just how badly the Afghan war went in 2016, a fact which has led NATO to announce multiple deployments of ground forces in recent days, deployments which come years after “ground combat operations” were supposed to be finished.

Throughout that period, Afghan forces continued to lose territory at an alarming pace, despite a massive increase in US airstrikes, with figures showing the Taliban controls more territory now than at any time since the 2001 US invasion that began the occupation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.