A scathing report from Brown University states that Afghan civilian deaths from American airstrikes spiked after the United States eased the rules of engagement in 2017. 

The number of civilians killed annually by U.S.-led coalition air attacks soared by over 300 percent, according to the report by Neta Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University. The report stated that 700 civilians were killed in airstrikes in 2019, more than any other year since the U.S. began operations in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11.

However, the U.S. military pushed back against what it characterized as a “one-sided” report. And the facts published by the U.N. confirm that Afghan civilians were more than 20 times more likely to be killed by the Taliban than U.S. airstrikes. 

Col. Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) said, “We disagree with the one-sided analysis presented in Costs of War, which relies on disputed data and ignores civilian casualties caused by Taliban and ISIS attacks.”