(GPA) Washington – In the final year of President, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama’s term in office, the US dropped a record number of bombs in seven different countries.
While the US has been obsessing over what kind of war criminal incoming President Donald Trump will be, the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) released a report on exactly the type of war criminal current president Obama already is. The report estimated the number of bombs dropped in seven countries in the past year – according to the Pentagon’s figures – for a total of 26,171 (about 72 a day or three every hour).
The total bombs dropped for 2016 surpassed 2015 by over 3,000. At one point, the frequency of bombings was so high that the US Air Force had to tap into previously untouched reserves of munitions kept at bases around the world, and was even worried of running out of conventional bombs for jets late in the year.
This estimate is also most likely on the low end since the Pentagon considers each individual bombing run as “a bombing” despite the actual number of explosive ordnance dropped. The seven countries hit included Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Syria and Iraq were of course the two highest countries on the list with 12,192 and 12,095 bombing runs in each respective country.
Pakistan, Libya and Somalia were primarily targeted for assassinations by way of drone strikes, although Pakistan actually enjoyed a record low number of strikes compared to previous years. The problem is that the lower frequency of bombings in Pakistan are due to to that country’s military operations that pushed terrorists back into Afghanistan where the fighting with the Taliban is expected to rise dramatically this spring. This also helps to explain why bombing in Afghanistan jumped over 50 percent from last year.
The countries hardest hit by drone strikes may also be an incomplete list since the US has a history of conducting secret drone operations in regions like Central Africa. Drones have easily become the favorite option in Obama’s arsenal and he carried out more strikes than George W. Bush did since the first kill by a drone in the early days of the Afghan war in 2001. Obama was also the one to make special laws to label all ‘fighting age males’ as combatants in drone operations to lower the number of civilian casualties.
Although some mainstream and independent media outlets have covered these bombings there is also the other issue of a growing presence of regular and special operations US forces worldwide as well.
The US spent 2016 placing their special forces in 138 countries, or about 71% of the total number of individual nations on the planet. The special forces are mostly being used for ‘advisory roles’ in training friendly forces and advising operations anywhere ‘terrorism’ can be found, from Libya and all over Central, Western and Northern Africa, across the Persian Gulf in Yemen, fighting alongside Kurds in Iraq and Syria to the now more traditional deployment areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Then there are the less thought of areas of deployment for special forces such as Southeast Asia, to ‘combat Chinese ambitions,’ although this has come to light more since Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to expel US ‘advisers’ from his country. Another region coming in the spotlight for being full of new deployments of US special forces is the Baltic states and Poland to combat ‘Russian aggression’ who are also being reinforced with large deployments of regular US military personnel.
So even with Donald Trump assuming the presidency in ten days, the global imperialist war is already in full swing. US forces around the globe are awaiting orders from the next commander in chief but it is unlikely Trump will be able to untangle the twisted mess of US foreign policy from the last 15 years.
Image: Public Domain