Despite Talks, U.S. Airstrikes in Afghanistan Increased by 78 Percent in 2018

You might have heard that the U.S., the Afghanistan government, and the Taliban are in talks for a peace process, possibly ending the Afghanistan War. You might also read in mainstream media about recent attacks by the Taliban on U.S. and NATO Forces. What the mainstream media won’t publish are the increase in attacks from the U.S. side. Although this year isn’t quite near its end, the Pentagon have increased airstrikes in Afghanistan by 78 percent more compared to last year.

2017 Jan-Jun Airstrikes: 1,634
2018 Jan-Jun Airstrikes: 2,911

Data: AFCENT Airpower Summary, June 30, 2018, page 3; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

That’s nearly double the amount of airstrikes. General John Nicholson has stated before that the Afghanistan War has reached a stalemate. No sides are gaining any ground and there is no end in sight. Maybe its time to negotiate.

First, let me say that the Pentagon in Afghanistan has no right to tell the Afghans how to live their lives. Second, Gen. Nicholson described this peace process, while the war wages on, as “talking and fighting“. Third, there is no military solution.

There are only two realistic options available at this point: keep fighting or negotiate a peace deal. As much as I want the U.S. to completely leave Afghanistan, I don’t think it is a realistic option. But I do want the bombs to stop dropping and the bullets to stop firing. America has lost too much in this war. The Afghan people have lost much more.

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