Increasing Airstrikes in Afghanistan

The new rules of engagement in Afghanistan have led to a dramatic increase in US airstrikes in Afghanistan, targeting ISIS on a regular basis and putting up sortie numbers higher than recent years in that country. President Obama in December expanded the ability of commanders in Afghanistan to target ISIS, and as a result the US in January flew 51 sorties with at least one weapon released, and a total of 128 bombs dropped in Afghanistan. That is the highest number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan in January since 2013. Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of Air Forces Central Command, said the spike came simply because of the new rules of engagement. The US has not deployed additional assets or changed its operational tempo, but now has the authority to go after ISIS in Afghanistan and is doing so regularly, Brown said at AWS16.