Washington, D.C. – In a recent report, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Micah Zenko, noted that the United States has dropped an estimated 23,144 bombs in the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. That is over 60 bombs a day!
One of the focal reports of Zenko’s report is that despite the dropping of tens of thousands of bombs on the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations, recruitment for these groups is increased with every bomb dropped by a foreign power onto indigenous soil.
According to the CFR report:
Last year, 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.
Zenko notes that the strategic focus in the “War on Terror” is to kill extremism into oblivion, with little attention being given to preventing a moderate individual from becoming an extremist.
If we compare the number of bombs dropped by the US in Muslim countries (23,144) with the number of bombs dropped by Muslim countries in the US (0), the scenario begins to resemble more of a slaughter than some supposed ‘conflict’ or ‘foreign aid.’
Instead of bombs, however, Muslims have been dropping tens of thousands of water bottles in the form of aid to the citizens of Flint, Michigan whose government knowingly poisoned them for over 18 months through the city’s water supply.
According to the Washington Times,
A Muslim organization called “Who is Hussain?” donated 30,000 bottles of water to the Red Cross in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday to help alleviate the water contamination crisis that has gripped the city for months. The donation drive came on the heels of President Obama’s declaration of the situation as a federal state of emergency.
Who is Hussain? collected the water after a local campaign collected donations of cases of water bottles and online donations netted funds to purchase additional water.
Although the Pentagon claims to have killed at least 25,000 Islamic State fighters, in 2014 the CIA estimated the size of the entire Islamic State at “between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters.”
Pentagon officials claim that at least 25,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed (an anonymous official said 23,000 in November, while on Wednesday, Warren added “about 2,500” more were killed in December.) Remarkably, they also claim that alongside the 25,000 fighters killed, only 6 civilians have “likely” been killed in the seventeen-month air campaign. At the same time, officials admit that the size of the group has remained wholly unchanged. In 2014, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated the size of the Islamic State to be between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters, while on Wednesday, Warren again repeated the 30,000 estimate. To summarize the anti-Islamic State bombing calculus: 30,000 – 25,000 = 30,000.
It seems clear that bombing the ideology of extremism into oblivion is a strategy that conversely works as a tool for radicalization and the growth of extremism.
The U.S. government’s current policy to combat terrorism will result in an unending conflict that will only continue to grow in scope as more and more moderate Islamic youth become radicalized as they watch their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and children die from U.S. munitions dropped in the name of defeating terrorism.
Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.