An estimated 4.5 million people have died in post 911 wars, report finds

A recently released report by the Cost of War project at Brown University provides an extensive analysis of the consequences of wars that ensued after September 9, 2001. The report estimates a death toll ranging from 4.5 to 4.6 million in countries affected by conflict, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

The report highlights that while some individuals lost their lives directly in the fighting, a significant number—approximately 3.6 to 3.7 million, primarily children—succumbed to indirect effects such as the spread of diseases due to economic, public service, and environmental disruptions.

Of particular concern is the situation in Afghanistan, where the report suggests ongoing suffering and higher rates of war-related fatalities, despite the formal conclusion of the conflict following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in August 2021.

The research conducted by Brown University encompasses the impact on human health resulting from various conflicts, irrespective of the parties involved or the factors contributing to the conflicts. The study covers conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

The report acknowledges the difficulty in obtaining precise figures on casualties, injuries, and disabilities resulting from these conflicts. It also recognizes the complex and multifaceted consequences of war and ongoing violence, particularly in Afghanistan.

The report reveals concerning statistics, such as over 7.6 million children suffering from malnutrition in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. It also notes the prevalence of pregnancy and birth-related complications, infectious diseases, and noncommunicable illnesses like cancer.

According to the Cost of War project’s estimates, as of 2019, over 177,000 uniformed individuals from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria lost their lives. Additionally, the report indicates that over 7,000 US troops and 8,000 contractors were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq during the same period.

Financially, the report estimates that the US government has spent over $8 trillion on these wars.

The recent withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan has resulted in significant challenges, including increased poverty and strain on the healthcare system, impacting a large portion of the country’s population.