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Drop seen in airstrikes against insurgents

WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) -- There has been a 25 percent reduction in the number of bombs and missiles warplanes are dropping on insurgents in Afghanistan, U.S. Air Force records indicate.

The reduction, in comparison to three years ago, comes amid debate about restricting the use of overwhelming firepower in order to reduce the number of civilian deaths, USA Today reported Wednesday.

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Some military analysts say the drop in the use of firepower increases the risk to ground forces fighting the Taliban.

"It looks to me like it's gone a little too far in terms of limiting (civilian casualties)," says Barry Watts of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The top officer in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, and other commanders have said they will examine how directives governing the use of firepower are practiced in Afghanistan.

Petraeus wants to make sure the military continues to protect Afghan civilians, says Gen. David Rodriguez.

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