US Coalition Airstrikes in Afghanistan Soared During Peace Talks

August was highest number of airstrikes of the year

In the course of abandoning the Afghan peace process, President Trump in particular singled out a Taliban car bombing, saying the Taliban weren’t willing to cease firing during the talks and “would even kill 12 innocent people.”

A new report on US airstrikes, however, shows that the US wasn’t ceasing fire either. Indeed, during this exact same critical time in the peace process, the US was escalating airstrikes in Afghanistan, launching more than at any time this year.

The US launched 810 airstrikes in August, mostly against the Taliban. Mike Pompeo suggested last week that the US had killed around 1,000 Taliban fighters in the course of 10 days.

All of this suggests that while President Trump was faulting the Taliban for trying to build “false leverage” with attacks during the talks, the US was doing the exact same thing on an even grander scale, escalating the attacks during the talks.

This makes condemning the Taliban and ditching the peace process hypocritical, and probably puts the US position in an even worse light.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of