>> It's the war that's supposed to be winding down, but air strikes by US fighter jets have spiked in Afghanistan. Military insider say they've conducted around 700 this year, compared to 500 from the whole of last year. Reuter's Josh Smith, explains why.>> While the Taliban remains the major insurgent group, here in Afghanistan, Islamic State militants have been able to make some inroads, especially along the eastern boarder with Pakistan.
It's in that area that the United States has launched an increasing number of air strikes as well as missions by special forces troops to target Islamic State positions there. American officials estimate that they're about 1000 Islamic State fighters in that area.>> The US has responded to the recent wave of violence not just with more air strikes but also with bigger guns.
Flying massive B-52 bombers in from Qatar twice this summer to pummel ISIS targets. And the Air Force says it's ready to use any number of the more than 750 aircraft deployed around the region as the US looks to shore off local forces.>> The small Afghan airforce has also doubled the number of air strikes that it is conducting and it has received more aircraft from the United States, more pilots and more powerful weapons.
That, however, has not been enough to prevent a Taliban from continuing to threaten major population centers and highways around the country.>> With no end in sight for one of America's longest wars. Any decisions on the future of the airstrikes and the nearly 9,000 troops that will remain in the country will be up to the winner of the November 8th presidential election.