Here's how many bombs the US military dropped in 2016 - and where they went

For a nation that isn't officially at war against another nation, the United States dropped an awful lot of bombs on a pretty large number of countries last year, according to research by Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and research associate Jennifer Wilson.

According to their calculations, based on data released by the Pentagon as well as information collected by think tanks and news organizations, the U.S. dropped some 26,171 bombs across all its weapons platforms, on targets in seven different countries.

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The biggest recipients were Syria (12,192) and Iraq (12,095), where the U.S. is participating in the effort to destroy the terror group ISIS, which still controls parts of both countries.

Next on the list was Afghanistan where, despite having pulled out the vast majority of combat troops years ago, the U.S. saw the need to drop 1,337 bombs. The only other country in triple digits was Libya, which was hit with 496.

Smaller targets included Yemen (34), Somalia (14) and Pakistan (3). The total number of bombs dropped was up 3,027 over the previous year, they found.

RELATED: See every piece of land Obama has protected during his time in office

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Every piece of land President Obama has put under protection
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Every piece of land President Obama has put under protection

Bears Ears National Monument

Location: Utah

Size: 1.35 million acres

Date of proclamation: December 28, 2016

(Brad Branan/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)

Gold Butte National Monument

Location: Nevada

Size: 300,000 acres

Date of proclamation: Dec 28, 2016

(Photo by Ronda Churchill for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Location: Marine waters off the coast of New England

Size: 4,913 square miles

Date of proclamation: September 15, 2016

(Photo via NOAA Photo Library/Flickr)

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument i

Location: Marine waters near the Northwest Hawaiian Islands 

Size: 582,578 square miles — the world's largest marine protected area. (The original monument was created in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Obama expanded the protected territory by 442,781 square miles.)

Date of proclamation: August 26, 2016

(Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

Location: Maine

Size: 87,500 acres

Date of proclamation: August 24, 2016

(Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Stonewall National Monument

Location: New York City

Size: 0.12 acres

Date of proclamation: June 24, 2016

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

Location: Washington, DC

Size: 0.34 acres

Date of proclamation: April 12, 2016

(Photo by Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)

Mojave Trails National Monument

Location: California

Size: 1.6 million acres (including 400,000 acres of wilderness previously designated by Congress) 

Date of proclamation: February 12, 2016

(Photo via REUTERS/Sam Mircovich)

Sand to Snow National Monument

Location: California

Size: 154,000 acres (including 100,000 acres of wilderness previously designated by Congress) 

Date of proclamation: February 12, 2016

(Photo via REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Castle Mountains National Monument

Location: California

Size: 20,920 acres

Date of proclamation: February 12, 2016

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Location: California

Size: 331,000 acres

Date of proclamation: July 10, 2015

(Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Waco Mammoth National Monument

Location: Texas

Size: 5 acres

Date of proclamation: July 10, 2015

(Photo by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0)

Basin and Range National Monument

Location: Nevada

Size: 704,000 acres

Date of proclamation: July 10, 2015

(Photo via U.S. Department of the Interior)

Honouliuli National Monument

Location: Hawaii

Size: 123 acres

Date of proclamation: February 24, 2015

(Photo via U.S. Department of the Interior)

Pullman National Monument

Location: Chicago

Size: 0.24 acres

Date of proclamation: February 19, 2015

(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Browns Canyon National Monument

Location: Colorado

Size: 21,586 acres

Date of proclamation: February 19, 2015

(Photo via Bureau of Land Management/Flickr)

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Location: California

Size: 346,177 acres

Date of proclamation: October 10, 2014

(Photo by Taylor Reilly via Getty Images)

Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

Location: Marine waters west of Hawaii

Size: 308,316 square nautical miles

Date of proclamation: Obama established the monument on January 6, 2009, and expanded it on September 25, 2014

(Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr)

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

Location: New Mexico

Size: 496,330 acres

Date of proclamation: May 21, 2014

(Photo via Mark Newman via Getty Images)

California Coastal National Monument

Location: California

Size: The monument was expanded to include the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, which added 1,665 additional acres

Date of proclamation: Bill Clinton established the monument in 2000, and Obama expanded it on March 11, 2014

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

First State National Monument

Location: Delaware

Size: 1,108 acres

Date of proclamation: March 25, 2013

(Photo via Wikipedia)

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument

Location: Maryland

Size: 11,750 acres

Date of proclamation: March 25, 2013

(Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument

Location: Ohio

Size: 59 acres

Date of proclamation: March 25, 2013

(Photo via US Department of the Interior/Flickr)

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Location: New Mexico

Size: 242,555 acres

Date of proclamation: March 25, 2013

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

San Juan Islands National Monument

Location: Islands off the coast of Washington

Size: 970 acres

Date of proclamation: March 25, 2013

(Photo via Lidija Kamansky via Getty Images)

Cesar E. Chavez National Monument

Location: California

Size: 10.5 acres

Date of proclamation: October 8, 2012

(Photo by Cesar Gonzalez / EyeEm via Getty Images)

Chimney Rock National Monument

Location: Colorado

Size: 4,726 acres

Date of proclamation: September 21, 2012

(Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Fort Ord National Monument

Location: California

Size: 14,651 acres

Date of proclamation: April 20, 2012

(Photo via Getty Images)

Fort Monroe National Monument

Location: Virginia

Size: 325 acres

Date of proclamation: November 1, 2011

(Photo by Debra G Snelson via Getty Images)

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Writing on his blog, Zenko admits, "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."

Zenko added, "As President Obama enters the final weeks of his presidency, there will be ample assessments of his foreign military approach, which has focused on reducing U.S. ground combat troops (with the notable exception of the Afghanistan surge), supporting local security partners, and authorizing the expansive use of air power. Whether this strategy 'works'—i.e. reduces the threat posed by extremists operating from those countries and improves overall security and governance on the ground—is highly contested. Yet, for better or worse, these are the central [tenets] of the Obama doctrine."

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