Anything But Progress: US Data Shows Little Results in ISIS War

Over 1,000 Airstrikes, But What Was Even Hit?

60-plus nations nominally in the coalition and over 1,000 airstrikes between Iraq and Syria, the US has thrown myriad data at Congress to try to prove “progress” in the war on ISIS. Yet a closer inspection reveals anything but.

Over 1,000 airstrikes sounds like a lot, but it’s not clear how many actually hit intended targets. McClatchy reported that some of the bombing locations were nearly 100 miles off of the target.

Watching what’s actually happening on the ground sure doesn’t help the case of the war, as ISIS controls virtually all of the territory it did at the start of the US war. They lost a few border villages and gained some others.

The US has had a similar problem during the Afghan occupation, claiming “progress” in general terms but offering no data that actually backs it up, and indeed, ignoring evidence that the war isn’t going well at all.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.