Afghanistan’s Rising Civilian Death Toll Due to Airstrikes, 2017-2020

Dec 07, 2020 | by
  • Description

When the United States tightens its rules of engagement and restricts air strikes where civilians are at risk, civilian casualties tend to go down; when it loosens those restrictions, civilians are injured and killed in greater numbers. In 2017 the Pentagon relaxed its rules of engagement for airstrikes and escalated the air war in Afghanistan. The aim was to gain leverage at the bargaining table. From 2017 through 2019, civilian deaths due to U.S.and allied forces' airstrikes in Afghanistan dramatically increased.