The Council on Foreign relations estimates the United States dropped 26,171 bombs in seven countries in 2016. 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.
The primary US method for killing suspected terrorists has been with stand-off precision airstrikes. With regard to the self-declared Islamic State, U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that the pathway to “destroying” the terrorist organization is by killing every one of its current members.
In 2015, the United States dropped an estimated total of 23,144 bombs in six countries. Of these, 22,110 were dropped in Iraq and Syria. This estimate is based on the fact that the United States has conducted 77 percent of all airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, while there were 28,714 U.S.-led coalition munitions dropped in 2015. This overall estimate is probably slightly low, because it also assumes one bomb dropped in each drone strike in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, which is not always the case.
There were more U.S.-coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq from August 2014 to August 2015 than during more than five years of the Afghan war. From January 2010 to Aug. 31, 2015, there have been 20,237 weapons released over Afghanistan, according to U.S. military data. From August 2014 to August 2015, there have been 22,478 weapons released over Syria and Iraq, mostly by U.S. aircraft.
The cost of the war on ISIS up to April 2016 was $7.2 billion The running cost was about $11.5 million per day.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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