US Airstrikes in Afghanistan Highest in a Decade Amid Peace Talks

7,362 weapons dropped in strikes in 2018

Current US interest in a peace process in Afghanistan come amid a massive escalation. The US air war is continuing to pick up pace, with the number of US strikes already at their highest level in a decade.

In 2018, US officials report that 7,362 weapons were dropped on Afghanistan in various air campaigns. This is the highest number of strikes since the Pentagon started releasing figures, in 2009.

The escalation of the air war was facilitated in particular by the decline of ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria, as this freed up a lot of warplanes that were relocated further east to Afghanistan, where more targets were available.

As a practical matter though, the airstrikes have done little to help matters on the ground, as the Pentagon has consistently confirmed that Afghan forces have been losing ground. It is this growing loss that has the US looking to settle the war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.