Small Wars Journal

The U.S. Military's Stats on Deadly Airstrikes are Wrong. Thousands Have Gone Unreported

Sun, 02/05/2017 - 9:29am

The U.S. Military's Stats on Deadly Airstrikes are Wrong. Thousands Have Gone Unreported by Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow, Military Times

The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war's expense, manpower requirements and human toll. Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters.

Most alarming is the prospect this data has been incomplete since the war on terrorism began in October 2001. If that is the case, it would fundamentally undermine confidence in much of what the Pentagon has disclosed about its prosecution of these wars, prompt critics to call into question whether the military sought to mislead the American public, and cast doubt on the competency with which other vital data collection is being performed and publicized. Those other key metrics include American combat casualties, taxpayer expense and the military’s overall progress in degrading enemy capabilities…

Read on.



Wed, 02/08/2017 - 2:29pm

Get real! In a combined arms fight, Army helicopters operate in a ground environment, period!

It astounds me that the Left-wing media continues to focus on the recent SOF operation in Yemen whilst ignoring:

1. Understated civilian casualty figures from Operation Inherent Resolve
2. The death of Abdulrahman al-Alwaki a minor and US citizen (no attempt to capture, unlike with Nawar)
3. These 456 "hidden" US airstrikes in Afghanistan
4. CENTCOM intelligence manipulation intended to distort the facts about OIR
5. Ridiculously low CIA and USG "estimates" of Daesh's fighting strength

Trump is accused of being secretive and misleading prior to his inauguration and yet Obama seems to have been Nixonian in his duplicity.