Barack Obama’s legacy as a wartime leader saw 26,171 bombs dropped by the U.S. last year, this was 3,027 more than 2015. An analysis by the Defense Department data from the Council on Foreign Relations pointed out that most of the bombs were dropped in Syria and Iraq. In an attempt to reduce the area controlled by the Islamic State group, the U.S. carried out air operations. The number of bombs dropped in Iraq (12,095) and Syria (12,192) last year, was nearly the same.
Obama kept the U.S. military action in Syria focused on the Islamic State group, despite pushes from within his administration to commit U.S. military forces to the civil war in Syria. Obama also sought to draw down American military presence abroad and he’s also failed to commit ground troops to various international conflicts. Loads of critics were directed at his administration for failing to follow through on the red line he set over Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons on Syrian citizens.
It’s been reported that the U.S. dropped 79 percent of the anti-Islamic State group coalition bombs in Iraq and Syria, amounting to 24,287. However, this number along with others analyzed by CFR are likely lower than the actual number that was dropped since one airstrike can involve several bombs.
Despite Obama’s pledge to end the Afghan war during his campaign, he authorized a troop surge in Afghanistan – where 1,337 bombs were dropped by the U.S. in 2016. 8,400 U.S. troops are left in the country, this is more than Obama wanted to keep there by the end of his tenure. Back in 2015, only 947 bombs were dropped in Afghanistan.
The number of bombs dropped by the U.S. in Libya also increased in 2016 as compared to the previous year. Almost 500 bombs were dropped in the North African country. In 2016, 34 American bombs were dropped in Yemen while 14 bombs were dropped in Somalia.