THE US ‘war on terror’ has taken almost one million lives across the globe and has cost the country $8 trillion over the past two decades, says a new report released yesterday.
The report, issued by Costs of War Project at Brown University at the end of the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, estimates that 897,000 to 929,000 people have lost their lives as a direct result of war, whether by bombs, bullets or fire, in some 80 countries.
‘The war has been long and complex and horrific and unsuccessful … and the war continues in over 80 countries,’ said co-director of Costs of War, Catherine Lutz on Wednesday.
The death toll includes US military members, allied fighters, opposition fighters, civilians, journalists and humanitarian aid workers, the report said.
The figure, however, does not include the many indirect deaths the war has caused by way of disease, displacement and loss of access to food or clean drinking water.
‘The deaths we tallied are likely a vast undercount of the true toll these wars have taken on human life,’ said Neta Crawford, another co-founder of the project.
The project also revealed that the wars have cost the US an estimated $8 trillion in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.
Of the $8 trillion, $2.3 trillion is attributed to the Afghanistan/Pakistan war zone.
‘The Pentagon and the US military have now absorbed the great majority of the federal discretionary budget, and most people don’t know that,’ said Lutz.
‘Our task, now and in future years, is to educate the public on the ways in which we fund those wars and the scale of that funding,’ she added.
Another researcher of the project, Stephanie Savell said, ‘Twenty years from now, we’ll still be reckoning with the high societal costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – long after US forces are gone.’