Seven 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.
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