Post-9/11 Wars Have Contributed To Some 4.5 Million Deaths

Researchers from Brown University have released a report on the number of deaths post-9/11 wars. Using U.N. data and expert analyses, they have estimated that these wars have contributed to approximately 4.5 million deaths.

The full death toll of violence in the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, let alone of the broader global war on terrorism, remains difficult to determine. But it has long been surpassed by an even larger and more opaque figure: the indirect count of people who have died as a result of post-9/11 conflicts’ far-reaching ripple effects, such as ensuing waves of violence, hunger, the devastation of public services and the spread of disease.

Brown University researchers, in a report released Monday, draw on U.N. data and expert analyses to attempt to calculate the minimum number of excess deaths attributable to the war on terrorism, across conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — impacts “so vast and complex that” ultimately, “they are unquantifiable,” the researchers acknowledge.

The accounting, so far as it can be measured, puts the toll at 4.5 million to 4.6 million — a figure that continues to mount as the effects of conflict reverberate. Of those fatalities, the report estimates, some 3.6 million to 3.7 million were “‘indirect deaths” caused by the deterioration of economic, environmental, psychological and health conditions.

More than 7,000 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with more than 8,000 contractors, according to Brown’s Costs of War project. And U.S. forces have suffered cascading effects of their own, including rates of suicide among veterans outpacing the general population. But the vast majority of those killed in the fighting were locals: more than 177,000 uniformed Afghans, Pakistanis and Iraqis and Syrian allies had died as of 2019, according to the Costs of War project, alongside a vast count of opposing combatants and a disputed civilian toll.The Afghanistan Papers: At War With The Truth

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“There are reverberating costs, the human cost of war, that people for the most part in the United States don’t really know enough about or think about,” said Stephanie Savell, the paper’s author and co-director of the Costs of War project.

“We talk about it being over now that the U.S. has left Afghanistan, but one significant way that these wars are continuing,” she said, is that “the people in the war zones are continuing to suffer the consequences.”

According to a press release from the White House, Hemedti’s eight-day visit with Putin happened to coincide with U.S. sanctions against Russia for Putin’s “threatening actions” and “unprovoked aggression” in Ukraine.

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