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Real Progressive Front — Nov 22, 2017

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle drop 2000lbs munitions. Click to enlarge

USAF F-15E Strike Eagle drop 2000lbs munitions. Click to enlarge

The US army has unleashed 3,554 bombs as of October 31, 1,337 bombs in all of 2016, and 947 in all of 2015.

According to new figures, the US Air Force had dropped 3,554 bombs on Afghanistan in 2017, this is almost three times the 1,337 it dropped in 2016 and almost four times the 947 in 2015.

The US military opened a new front in its air war in Afghanistan, dropping thousands of more bombs, while Donald Trump had roundly criticized this war before taking office.

The experts warned of the risk of alienating the local population in Afghanistan. The increase in the number of bombs is the new strategy that Trump announced in August to see the presence of US soldiers expanded.

Trump entered the White House saying “We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan,” and “Let’s get out!” questioning why the US was still fighting in Afghanistan. Now he’s ramping up America’s longest war.

Trump wrote on Twitter on September 11, 2012: “84% of US troops wounded & 70% of our brave men & women killed in Afghanistan have all come under Obama. Time to get out of there,”

Earlier in September, 3,000 additional American troops were deployed to the war zone, bringing the total number of US troops there to at least 14,000.

Under Trump’s presidency, the US military has killed more Afghan civilians in the campaign against the ISIS than under his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump is only involving the US further in a conflict with no end in sight.

Previously, Trump opposed withdrawal, and despite the increase in bombing, the Taliban’s presence in Afghanistan has not waned and according to some experts, has continued to grow.

Recently this week, The International Criminal Court prosecutor asked for authorization to investigate reported human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including allegations of rape and torture by US military and the CIA, crimes against humanity by the Taliban and war crimes by Afghan security forces.


Comment — Nov 27, 2017

In spite of the increased bombing the Taliban’s presence in Afghanistan hasn’t diminished in terms of land occopied.
U.S. Army General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said recently that the number of Afghan districts controlled by the Taliban was “roughly the same as last year.”
However, Bill Roggio, a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, disputes that claim. He maintains that the Taliban now “controls or contests about 40 percent of Afghanistan — more than twice the area it had in 2015.”
The Afghan Taliban have also warned that Trump was “wasting” American lives with his new war strategy.
“If America doesn’t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, soon Afghanistan will become another graveyard for this superpower in the 21st century,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Al Jazeera in August.
In other words Trump’s new strategy in Afghanistan could be doomed to failure. Like a replay of Vietnam or Iraq, where America’s reliance on overwhelming air superiority was not enough to secure victory on the ground, the U.S. doesn’t seem to have learned from these episodes.
Like they say, those who won’t learn from the lessons of the past are destined to repeat them. Ed.