Since taking office, President Trump has set two specific trends in US military operations across the Afghan and ISIS wars. He’s talked broad escalation, and he’s also granted an ever-growing level of autonomy to military commanders.
Unsurprisingly, this has had a broad impact on the way those wars have been fought, and at this point US airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan are all at multi-year highs, with the former two seeing their highest level of strikes in the ISIS war, and Afghanistan at its highest since 2012.
Increased autonomy means less and less obstacles to attacks, and hence more and more attacks. The US seems to believe that more attacks would necessarily improved the wars, though in Afghanistan the situation has continued to worsen throughout this latest escalation.
Officials are claiming this has yielded “progress” in Iraq, though that appears to simply be a conclusion drawn because the US has progressive increased its airstrikes throughout a period in which Iraqi forces were already retaking territory.