US warplanes have dropped more munitions in Afghanistan during the first 10 months of this year than during any other full calendar year since the American Air Force began documenting monthly bomb usage in the war-torn nation back in 2006.
US military forces dropped 5,982 bombs in Afghanistan between January and October of 2018, according to new data released by Air Force Central Command’s (AFCENT) Combined Air Operations Center, as cited in a Saturday report by US-based pro-military news outlet Task & Purpose. The figure reflects a 37-percent increase from the 4,361 munitions deployed during all of 2017.
Additionally, the US-led coalition aircraft flew nearly 6,600 sorties, a 43-percent hike from the 4,603 conducted during all of 2017, although the number of sorties that actually involved weapons releases dropped from 27-percent in 2017 to only 12-percent in 2018, the data further shows, pointing to a change that suggests fewer warplanes are releasing more bombs than ever before.
According to the report, the drastic rise in munitions releases is not surprising since during his presidential campaign, US President Donald Trump laid out a simple vision for ridding the Middle East of the terrorists, saying: “bomb the sh-t out of ‘em.”
However, the new bombing data in Afghanistan comes amid reports that Trump is pushing to withdraw the entire American forces from the terror-ravaged nation by the 2020 presidential election, extricating his administration from a conflict that he believes “we aren’t winning,” according to an NBC News report broadcast in August 2017.
Military magazine Stars and Stripes also reported that the munitions deployed by US aircraft were primarily focused on terrain denial, as well as depriving Taliban militants of the drug labs that help fund the militants’ years-long armed campaign against US-led forces occupying Afghanistan.