The first year of the administration of US President Donald Trump saw a reinvigoration of US military operations in Libya and Pakistan, as well as a record number of airstrikes launched against both Somalia and Yemen.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a nonprofit foreign policy and national security think tank, released their Long War Journal on Thursday. The report tracks US airstrikes in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, four nations where the US is not actively engaged in armed hostilities but does provide air and tactical support.
The Obama administration’s policy for “areas outside of active hostilities” was limited airstrikes partnered with support to the local government. Trump meanwhile has loosened the rules of engagement and given the military more decision-making power.
In 2017, the US launched 120 strikes against Islamic militant groups in Yemen, more than the entirety of strikes launched during Obama’s second term. US airstrikes in Yemen began in 2007, but the Islamic insurgency there continues to go strong ten years later — even with the enhanced bombing campaign against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula under Trump.