In recent months, some of the airstrikes in Afghanistan have been
credited to the Afghan Air Force. This air force is operational, to some
extent, though calling it functional would be an exaggeration.
Officials say that 11 years after the US started this process, and about $8 billion of US funding in, the Afghan Air Force is still struggling.
Only about one in five airstrikes in Afghanistan involves an Afghan
plane, and officials say that civilian casualties in Afghan strikes are
even worse than the shoddy track record of the US planes.
The plans are to continue growing the air force, but US officials
concede there is no timetable that’s going to get them to the point
where the Afghans can control the skies of their country by themselves,
with the expectation of them relying heavily on US air support for
years, perhaps decades to come.
And relying on American money, of course. As with the rest of the Afghan
military, the US decisions made on force size for the air force are
being made irrespective of Afghanistan’s ability to maintain or pay for
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