US stops releasing Afghan airstrike metrics, citing peace process with Taliban

by Gareth Jennings

The United States has stopped the public release of its airstrike numbers in Afghanistan after more than a decade, with the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) citing the importance of such metrics to the ongoing peace process in the country.

AFCENT’s Combined Forces Air Component Commander Airpower Statistics chart weapon releases for all manned and unmanned US and coalition (although not Afghan Air Force) aircraft flying in the Afghanistan area of operations. The monthly figures were not released for March, for the first time in more than 10 years. (US Air Force)

AFCENT’s Combined Forces Air Component Commander Airpower Statistics chart weapon releases for all manned and unmanned US and coalition (although not Afghan Air Force) aircraft flying in the Afghanistan area of operations. The monthly figures were not released for March, for the first time in more than 10 years. (US Air Force)

With the Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) due to release its Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC) Airpower Statistics for March, SIGAR noted in its 30 April quarterly report that such figures are now deemed to be too sensitive for release due to the ongoing negotiations between the US government and the Taliban.

“Enemy-initiated attacks [and the US responses to them] are now a critical part of deliberative interagency discussions regarding ongoing political negotiations between the US and the Taliban,” the SIGAR said, although it did not specifically name the CFACC Airpower Statistics in its report. The Department of Defense added that the data may again become releasable to the public once the deliberative process ends.

Since 2009 AFCENT has been releasing its CFACC Airpower Statistics on a monthly basis. The statistics are comprised of weapon releases for all manned and unmanned US and coalition (although not Afghan Air Force) aircraft flying in the Afghanistan area of operations under CFACC control.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/us-stops-releasing-afghan-airstrike-metrics-citing-peace-process-with-taliban

The United States has stopped the public release of its airstrike numbers in Afghanistan after more ...

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