MS Risk Blog

US Bombed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen in 2016

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According to an analysis of American strikes around the world, in 2016, the United States dropped an average of 72 bombs every day – the equivalent of three an hour. The report, which was released by the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), comes as President Barack Obama finishes up his presidency – one that began with promises to withdraw from international conflicts.

According to the New York City-based think tank, 26,171 bombs were dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somali and Pakistan during last year, with the CFR warning that its estimates were “undoubtedly low, considering reliable date is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somali and Libya, and a single ‘strike,’ according to the Pentagon’s definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions.”

The CFR has reported that 24,287 bombs wee used in Iraq and Syria, where the US is helping drive Islamic State (IS) militants from swaths of both countries. According to the CFR, in 2015, the US dropped 22,110 bombs in Iraq and Syria. Last year also saw a sharp rise in strikes in Afghanistan, with 1,337 being recorded, compared with 947 in 2015. The study, which compiled data from a number of military and press sources, also indicated that three bombs were dropped in Pakistan last year; 14 in Somalia; and 34 in Yemen. A similar study in 2015 indicated that 11 bombs had been dropped in Pakistan during that year; 58 in Yemen; and 18 in Somalia. The 2015 analysis did not include Libya.