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The US military dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in the last month than it has since 2010
U.S. military aircraft dropped more bombs and fired more missiles in Afghanistan last month than it has in nearly a decade, Air Force statistics show.
In September the U.S. military dropped 948 munitions in Afghanistan, according to U.S. Air Forces Central Command's latest summary of wartime missions. The last time so much ordnance was used in Afghanistan was October 2010, when the coalition tracked 1,043 weapons releases.
Both President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have said the U.S. military has escalated attacks against the Taliban following the breakdown of peace talks in early September.
"We did pick up the pace considerably," Esper told reporters on Oct. 4 while returning from a visit to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky. "The president did want us to pick up response. You had the heinous attacks that the Taliban and others conducted throughout Afghanistan."
The number of weapons used during airstrikes in Afghanistan has been climbing since the summer, according to U.S. Air Forces Central Command's latest summary of wartime missions. In June, 441 weapons were used, followed by 613 in July and 783 in August.
U.S military aircraft have flown 1,838 sorties involving using at least one weapon so far this year, a major jump from 500 such missions flown in 2018, the summary shows.
Overall, the coalition flew 6,547 sorties in the first nine months of 2019, nearly as many as the 8,196 sorties flown during all of last year.
The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan marked its 18th anniversary on Monday. After a small number of U.S. troops and intelligence officers helped the Northern Alliance topple the Taliban in 2001, the U.S. military shifted its focus to Iraq. By 2006, signs were emerging that the Taliban was rising again.
Trump, who has vowed to end the United States' post 9/11 wars, tweeted on Sept. 7 that he had invited the Taliban to Camp David for peace negotiations, but he had decided to end the process because the Taliban were continuing to carry out attacks.
"Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people," Trump tweeted. "I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?"
U.S. Army aviation officials have launched an effort to restore full air assault capability to the 101st Airborne Division — a capability the Screaming Eagles have been without since 2015.
The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.
On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.
President Donald Trump belittled his former defense secretary, James Mattis, by characterizing him as the "world's most overrated general," according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.
The account from numerous officials came during an afternoon closed door meeting with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday. In the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly brought up dissenting views towards the president's decision to withdraw the vast majority of roughly 1,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria.
Retired two-star Navy. Adm. Joe Sestak is the highest ranking — and perhaps, least known — veteran who is trying to clinch the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Sestak has decades of military experience, but he is not getting nearly as much media attention as fellow veterans Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Another veteran, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has dropped out of the race.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.