Foreign Policy

The U.S. Dropped More Than 26,000 Bombs Last Year

Both the number of bombs and the number of countries being bombed was higher in 2016 than in 2015.


Total Experience

How many bombs did the U.S. military drop last year? It's hard to get an exact count, but Micah Zenko and Jennifer Wilson have done the best tally they can:

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.

The full list:

Council on Foreign Relations

To read their whole post, go here; to look at 2015's tally, go here. To remind yourself that we knew way back in 2008 that Barack Obama wasn't the dove many of his supporters were expecting, go here. And since some people still seem convinced that Obama has been pulling the U.S. back from the world, you may also want to go here to see Daniel Larison doing battle with the idea that Obama has had a "commitment to retrenchment." Writes Larison: "The U.S. is involved in more wars in more countries today than it was when Obama became president. By any reasonable definition, that can't be what retrenchment looks like."

NEXT: The New York Times' Hypocrisy on Budget Reconciliation to Repeal ObamaCare

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    1. Is that the sounds of the Nobel Peace Prize hitting the net of the little basket above the trash can in the Oval Office?

      1. Well, Clinton woulda had the thing on ebay in an eye blink, along with the WH silver…

  2. And this is why we’re winning.

  3. “Hey, President Donald Trump: Do you know where your bombs are falling?”

      1. Tapeworm.

  4. Have we really been blowing stuff up in Iraq for nearly 14 years now? Geez-us….

    1. Big O got us out of there, didn’t you hear?

      1. Heard it over and over and now I’m learning that none of it was true.
        Word lview shattered.

        1. So “shattered” in fact, that some of the letters ended up in the wrong spots..

    2. 26 years, with some tense periods of remission.

      1. It’s amazing how many people think we were at peace with Iraq between the Gulf War and the Iraq War. Operation Desert Fox has been pretty much eliminated from history books, and in the first month of Bush’s presidency, he was slightly take aback by a heavy bombing sortie that Clinton had planned a year earlier. This is why I have still yet to see compelling evidence that Al Gore wouldn’t have taken us to full-blown war with Iraq as well.

      2. Nocturnal remissions.

    3. If we don’t blow it up now, we’ll never get a chance later because ISIS will blow it up first!

  5. I thought I was the only one who liked the Gap Band.

    1. I’m pretty sure it was played at 0bamao’s first inauguration.

      1. HA HA!

        *points finger*

        (On a more serious note, Morris Day is my spirit animal)


      2. You know Reasons, when I post a link no one will watch I expect it to work.

        1. When you post a link, I expect the web-filters at work to send a notice to HR that I’m due for reconditioning.

          Or mulching.

  6. The U.S. Dropped More Than 26,000 Bombs Last Year

    Trump will double that number… on Twitter.

    1. BOOM!

    1. Look, we’re eventually going to need land for death camps, and the more isolated they are the better.

    2. On the plus side, I think the Congressional Review Act is going to pass, and (at least for the last 60 days where the President and House are of different parties) Congress will actually do its fucking job and make law rather than cede that to the Executive.

  7. I dropped 26,000 bombs last year on my gf’s face.

    1. She’s into the hot lunch? What is she, German?

      1. Don’t be impressed, that was his total sperm count for the year.

        1. “I gotta drop the bomb” is how my college roommates referred to taking a dump. You can understand my confusion.

          1. “Drop the kids off at the pool” is the preferred idiom.

            1. Taking the Browns to the Super Bowl?

              1. Visiting the porcelain library with only one chair.

                1. Taking a PB.

                  When I’m done, I always wipe my Tulpa.

                  1. That’s disgusting.

          2. Taking 26,000 shits would not leave a lot of time to post here, unless someone only posts from the toilet…


            1. Maybe he’s a hardcore vegetarian and all his shits are little pellets, like a rabbit’s?

    2. So you eat a lot sugarfree gummy bears?

      1. Now there are gummy bear versions of him? Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!

          1. “Let me tell you something, funny boy… You know that little stamp? The one that says New York Public Library? Well, that may not mean anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole helluva lot. Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I’ve seen your type before — flashy, making the scene, flaunting convention. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… Why’s this guy making such a big stink about old library books? Let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me…. Maybe. Sure, we’re too old to change the world. What about that kid, sitting down, opening a book right now in a branch of the local library and finding pictures of pee-pees and wee-wees in The Cat in the Hat and The Five Chinese Brothers. Doesn’t he deserve better? Look, if you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you’d better think again. This is about that kid’s right to read a book without getting his mind warped. Or maybe that turns you on, Citizen X… Maybe that’s how you get your kicks… You and your goodtime buddies… I’ve got a flash for you, joy boy. Partytime is over.”

  8. Has anybody covered this yet?

    Indeed, in my 10-plus years of writing about politics on an endless number of polarizing issues ? including the Snowden reporting ? nothing remotely compares to the smear campaign that has been launched as a result of the work I’ve done questioning and challenging claims about Russian hacking and the threat posed by that country generally. This is being engineered not by random, fringe accounts, but by the most prominent Democratic pundits with the largest media followings.

    I’ve been transformed, overnight, into an early adherent of alt-right ideology, an avid fan of Breitbart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, and ? needless to say ? a Kremlin operative. That’s literally the explicit script they’re now using, often with outright fabrications of what I say (see here for one particularly glaring example).

    1. “I’ve been transformed, overnight, into an early adherent of alt-right ideology, an avid fan of Breitbart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter, and ? needless to say ? a Kremlin operative. That’s literally the explicit script they’re now using, often with outright fabrications of what I say (see here for one particularly glaring example).”

      When they came for Hitchens, ….

    2. It has been a sight to see.

    3. I will say that my opinion of Greenwald has only gone up lately, as the media as devolved into sleazier and sleazier little shits. He’s the Orwell of our time.

      1. The professional left has completely turned on him with the Washington Post leading the charge. I don’t agree with Greenwald on a lot of things, but I’ve always thought he was honest.

      2. Agree with this a lot. I disagree with a lot of his views and formerly disliked him for it. But he has kept it so goddamned real, at great personal cost, as he became inconvenient to the Team Blue establishment. Respect.

      3. He’s the Orwell of our time.

        This time as farce? I don’t hate Glenn Greenwald, but there must be something between “mostly honest leftist” and “the Orwell of our time”.

    4. Oh, he’s been a traitor to many progressives for a while.

      1. He didn’t wait until a Republican president was in office before publishing the Snowden leaks. There’s no coming back from that.

  9. Counties in that list that we have declared war on:


    1. Declaring war is so old-fashion. Kids these days hook up, drop a couple of tons of burning sky-death, and then ghost each other on social media.

      1. You know. . .no, that must be a mistake. Some legal document I read made it sound like only Congress could initiate hostilities.

        1. You mean the loudmouthed camera-loving retarded eunuchs? Certainly not them.

        2. Read? But it was written so long ago the language doesn’t even make sense to anyone now.

          1. Maybe my translation of Aramaic is faulty.

    2. Just about the same number which are actually a threat to the US.

    3. It’s totes cool, a constitutional scholar told me that kinetic military actions aren’t acts of war.

    4. Not even Cook ( County)?

  10. WTF? Only 3 bombs on Pakistan?

    Was someone wide right? Got their “-stan”‘s mixed up?

    1. There weren’t very many weddings to blow up in Waziristan last year?

      1. Clearly they only marry on auspicious years.

  11. What was the tonnage of explosives and number of fatalities?

  12. If only we hadn’t elected that deranged warmonger Trump, the world would be at peace.

    1. That is EXACTLY the line of horseshit we can expect from the “real” news media.

      Just another flavor of the “OMG – the stuff our guy did *repeatedly*, is now hoooooorrrribbblee that TrumpHITLER is in power!!!11!!”

      It must be an amazing feeling having so many willing idiots ready to step in and lie for your every misdeed.

  13. Isn’t it funny in an entirely predictable way on how the media mocked and questioned the notion of precision strikes under Bush, but has bought into it completely under Obama and even used it to differentiate our bombing from that of Russia?

    1. Odd, yes.

      Funny, no.

  14. It seems that all that is left is to….

    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran
    Boooomb Iraaaannnn In that Nuke Plaaannnt

    1. Lookit Rasilio! Doin a cover of an old McCain classic.

  15. It will truly be a great day when Barack Obama has to hold a gay bake sale to drop his bombs, and Michelle Obama gets all the money she needs to #BringBackOurGirls.

    1. OBomba?

    1. Is Bezos in charge over there? If he’s involved in the shrieking farce of a shitrag that the WP has become, it’s quite illuminating.

      1. He put Amazon warehouse robots to work writing stories, they’re still getting some of the AI kinks worked out.

      2. I think it has just continued its slide.

  16. “The U.S. Dropped More Than 26,000 Bombs Last Year”


    Seriously; that is an abysmally stupid metric. The issue shouldn’t be “How many bombs are we dropping?” but “Are the bombs we are dropping accomplishing anything worthwhile?”. But that is a question that many factions don’t want to ask because they are afraid that somebody might have an answer.

    The Hawks don’t want to examine the question, because they don’t want to deal with the historical pointlessness of most strategic bombing strategies. The Doves don’t want to deal with the question because they don’t want to admit even those few scenarios where it does some good. The Democrats don’t want to admit that they have used more military force, for less result, than Bush, and that they don’t really have a handle on what military force can accomplish.

    Donald Trump? He’s a wild card. He has always been a wild card. We’ll just have to see.

    but no matter what, the issue isn’t how many bombs are being dropped, but if our foreign and military policy make a lick of sense. And for the last eight years the answer has been “No.”

    1. You are right, but it is worthwhile to remind people that we are engaged in multiple undeclared wars right now. Most people seem to think we are at peace and occasionally go drone a terrorist camp.

      1. Most people seem to think we are at peace and occasionally go drone a terrorist camp.

        Speaking of such delusional fools, where is american socialist to defend his glorious hero?

  17. Obligatory Slate article titled:

    “Hey, President Donald Trump: Do you know where your bombs are falling?”

    Published on December 15th, 7 years and 11 months into Obama’s presidency.…..e-falling/

    1. I can hardly tell the difference anymore either, but that isn’t Slate.

      1. The segment’s not called “Obligatory Salon article”

      2. Do they really believe that Herself would have stopped all this bombing, that is entirely Bush and Trump’s fault?

        They live their entire life in some sort of fever-dream.

  18. All praise be to Barack H. Christ, who ended all wars and made the seas stop rising!!! Holy is His Name!

  19. If that’s not worthy of a peace prize, I don’t know what is.

  20. So, um, how many people did we kill? How much property was destroyed? Just the raw figures, notwithstanding who should or should not have been blown up?

    1. Only lizards and camels were hurt. And sand.

      1. Somebody has the figures. Duh, forgot all about Clinton’s server–maybe they are there?

      2. as long as the camel toes were ok…

    2. The right people were hurt, the right people were saved.

  21. Only” Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya


    and if you asked people “where has Obama waged war during his tenure”, the answer you’d get from the voter would be , “Nowhere! he ended all Bush’s wars!”

    1. He seems pretty set on adding Russia to that list in his final days in office.

    2. Remember, the moniker of the Obama administration’s foreign policy is “don’t do stupid shit”. You and I, not to mention the millions whose lives have been upended through U.S.-led or U.S.-backed military actions, might call what they’ve done colossally stupid, but dammit the media says it’s smart and sane, and they’ve (metaphorically) buried all the bodies that prove otherwise, so you know it must be true!

  22. Give that man another Peace Prize!

    1. To be fair to the nobel committee, BO would probably do a lot more for world peace by leaving office than he ever did while in it.

      So his first one was for his time before 2008, and the next will be for after 2016.

      They’re kind of like book-ends, to highlight where he fucked things up.

  23. As we all know, War is Peace.

    We’re at peace with those countries. Stop whining.

  24. I should have said when jesse first posted this =

    bless you for the Gap Band reference.

  25. “The U.S. Dropped More Than 26,000 Bombs Last Year”

    26,001 if you count Zoolander 2.

  26. Some people need to be bombed.

  27. This is a problem!

    Should be more missiles.

    (I suspect from “all munitions” they really are including them with bad choice of words.

    And one hopes that count doesn’t include submunitions.)

  28. Why do you hate the bomb making industry Jesse? Those are good American jerbs!

  29. 26,000 bombs is a couple of days worth in just the Euopean theater in WWII. Pin pricks.

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