US spent $5.9 trillion, killed 480,000 people in wars in Asia and Middle East since 2001

U.S. Marines and Georgian Army soldiers run to the extraction point during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 3, 2013.
U.S. Marine Corps photo

KEY POINTS:

  • The U.S wars in Iraq, Pakistan, Afganistan and Syria has cost its taxpayers $5.9 trillion since its initiation in 2001.
  • The star figures clearly reflect that the financial cost of the war is not borne by the Defense Department alone.
  • The report also found that despite the stigmatisation of terrorism being fuelled by Islamists solely, 480,000 people have been killed by these U.S led wars alone. Not only this, more than244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of fighting. Additionally, another 10 million people had to leave their homes and have been displaced due to violence.

    According to a new study, the U.S wars in the Middle East and Asia cost them a lot. The military action has cost them $5.9 trillion. This is not all. The said report also found that 480,000 killed as a result of direct war while  244,000 civilians died as a result of fighting. As an aftermath, 10 million people were displaced from their locations due to violence. That totals the cost to $2 trillion more than all federal government spending during the recently completed 2017-18 fiscal year, if the human cost is not taken into consideration.

    A report from the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University stated these findings. In addition to the money spent, it is clear the bloodshed, despite the terrorism being affiliated with Islam, U.S has topped the list.
    In addition to the money spent by the Pentagon, Crawford says the report captures the “war-related spending by the Department of State, past and obligated spending for war veterans’ care, interest on the debt incurred to pay for the wars, and the prevention of and response to terrorism by the Department of Homeland Security.”

    The report also highlights the human cost. It states that between 182,272 and 204,575 civilians have been killed in Iraq; 38,480 in Afghanistan; and 23,372 in Pakistan. Nearly 7,000 US troops were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The paper also acknowledged that there is a great certainty that the said figures are an undercount.

    “We may never know the total direct death toll in these wars. For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS [also known as ISIL] but their bodies have likely not been recovered.”– wrote Nera Crawford, the author of the report titled “Human Cost of the Post-9/11 Wars: Lethality and the Need for Transparency”.

     

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