Obama “Officially” Dropped More Than 26,171 Bombs In 2016
The United States officially admits to dropping 26,171 bombs in 2016 although actual numbers are much higher and most of them in countries America is ‘officially’ not at war in including Syria and Iraq.
Via Zero Hedge:
Here’s How Many Bombs Obama Dropped In 2016
even years after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” despite having been in office for less than one year and having pretty much no actual, tangible foreign diplomacy accomplishments at the time, President Obama will depart the White House having dropped 26,171 bombs on foreign countries around the world in 2016, 3,027 more than 2015.
According to an analysis of Defense Department data from the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan think tank, the majority of Obama’s 2016 bombs were dropped on Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, a country President Obama vowed U.S. troops would evacuate completely by the end of his Presidency, was also bombed over 1,300 times, a 40% increase over 2015. Per McClatchy DC:
The U.S. dropped 79 percent of the anti-Islamic State group coalition bombs in Syria and Iraq, totaling 24,287. That figure, along with others analyzed by CFR, is likely lower than the actual number dropped because one airstrike can involved multiple bombs.
Obama did authorize a troop surge in Afghanistan — a conflict he pledged to end during his campaign — where the U.S. dropped 1,337 bombs in 2016. There are currently 8,400 U.S. troops left in the country, more than Obama initially wanted to keep there at the end of his term. The U.S. only dropped 947 bombs in Afghanistan in 2015.
The U.S. also dropped more bombs in Libya in 2016 than it did in 2015. Nearly 500 bombs were dropped in the North African country that has essentially been ungoverned since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. He was captured and killed during the Libyan Civil War, kicked off by the Arab Spring protests that also began the Syrian conflict.
Nothing like releasing Gitmo detainees back to the battlefield so that we can just bomb them all over again.
What we can be sure of is these are only officially reported numbers. McClatchy further notes that each of these bomb strikes might contain multiple munitions.
HNN further notes that these are officially admitted bombings and by all means do not included “classified” drone strikes conducted to carry out political assassinations, notably in Pakistan were many more U.S. drone strikes have been reported than are being officially acknowledged in this report.
Strikingly missing from the “official” list of bombings are operations conducted elsewhere in the world which are being waged under the guise of National Security and as such are classified.
Regardless, most Americans will probably be appalled to learn American has dropped bombs in 7 nations in 2016 while Obama has been bragging about bring our troops home and ending overseas conflicts.
As President Obama enters the final weeks of his presidency, there will be ample assessments of his foreign military approach, which has focused on reducing U.S. ground combat troops (with the notable exception of the Afghanistan surge), supporting local security partners, and authorizing the expansive use of air power. Whether this strategy “works”—i.e. reduces the threat posed by extremists operating from those countries and improves overall security and governance on the ground—is highly contested. Yet, for better or worse, these are the central tenets of the Obama doctrine.
In President Obama’s last year in office, the United States dropped 26,171 bombs in seven countries. This estimate is undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single “strike,” according to the Pentagon’s definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions. In 2016, the United States dropped 3,027 more bombs—and in one more country, Libya—than in 2015.
Most (24,287) were dropped in Iraq and Syria. This number is based on the percentage of total coalition airstrikes carried out in 2016 by the United States in Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the counter-Islamic State campaign. The Pentagon publishes a running count of bombs dropped by the United States and its partners, and we found data for 2016 using OIR public strike releases and this handy tool.* Using this data, we found that in 2016, the United States conducted about 79 percent (5,904) of the coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, which together total 7,473. Of the total 30,743 bombs that the coalition dropped, then, the United States dropped 24,287 (79 percent of 30,743).
To determine how many U.S. bombs were dropped on each Iraq and Syria, we looked at the percentage of total U.S. OIR airstrikes conducted in each country. They were nearly evenly split, with 49.8 percent (or 2,941 airstrikes) carried out in Iraq, and 50.2 percent (or 2,963 airstrikes) in Syria. Therefore, the number of bombs dropped were also nearly the same in the two countries (12,095 in Iraq; 12,192 in Syria). Last year, the United States conducted approximately 67 percent of airstrikes in Iraq in 2016, and 96 percent of those in Syria.