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Surprise? Global war deaths doubled in Obama era

Was Obama’s Nobel peace prize justified? Data indicates his hands-off approach did not bring less war but rather much more.

By Gil Ronen


Seven years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Israeli website Midadecided to check whether the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s isolationist approach has brought about a decrease in global war deaths.

It turned out that the opposite is true.

Mida editor-in-chief Akiva Bigman perused the database of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University in Sweden, which includes a comprehensive list of wars and conflicts worldwide using data collected since 1989.

The database contains a detailed list of global battle-related death tallies, which includes all those killed as a direct result of military operations, including civilians killed by bombardments, civilians killed in crossfire, and so on. It goes up to 2014, and Bigman filled in 2015 and early 2016 using other sources.

Then came Obama

“From a global perspective,” he wrote, “what is especially noteworthy is the drastic change that has occurred since Obama became president. From 2001-2008, there were 159,121 deaths recorded as a direct result of wars, including the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, even using statistics only up to 2014, we notice a jump in Obama’s presidency of some 80% in the number of overall deaths: 286,204.

“Moreover, when we add only Syria and Iraq in 2015 – with more than 75,000 killed – there is a jump of 227% compared to (George W.) Bush. When data from 2016 and additional conflict zones becomes available, it is not unlikely that Obama would finish his presidency with numbers similar to those of another appeaser, Bill Clinton, at 400,275 deaths.”

The region that has suffered the most under Obama is the Middle East,Mida found. “During the entire decade from 1991 to 2000, which included the First Gulf War, 49,853 deaths were recorded in wars in the region, and in the eight years from 2001 to 2008, during which the United States invaded Iraq a second time, the number of deaths was 28,724.

“Then came Obama, and almost immediately the trend shifted again. Obama abandoned the war on terror and declared his intention to withdraw U.S. troops from the region. The result


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