Βy Steve Sweeney
THE US war on terror has killed almost one million people across the world and cost the country some $8 trillion (about £5.8tn) over the past 20 years, according to a new report.
The Costs of War Project by Brown University estimated that between 897,000 and 929,000 people have lost their lives as a direct result of war more than 80 countries.
The study, published on yesterday, examined spending on US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria.
Of the $8tn, $2.3tn (£1.6tn) is attributed to the Afghanistan-Pakistan war zone, which has seen the Taliban return to power in Kabul after 20 years of US-led war and occupation.
“The war has been long and complex and horrific and unsuccessful,” said joint author of the report Catherine Lutz.
Cost of War Project co-founder Neta Crawford noted that the fatalities recorded were a conservative estimate as they did not include indirect those caused by 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,” she said.
Researcher 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.”
US President Joe Biden has come under intense pressure following the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, which ended on Monday as the Taliban declared “full independence.”
United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has expressed “grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country and the threat of basic services collapsing completely.
“Today, almost half of the population of Afghanistan, 18 million people, need humanitarian assistance to survive,” he said on Monday.
In a nationwide address on Tuesday, Mr Biden pledged that the US would “continue to support the Afghan people” through diplomacy international influence and humanitarian aid.
But he remained tight-lipped over a drone strike he authorised that wiped out 10 members of one Afghan family, including six children.
Washington has been derided for claiming that it does more than any other country to protect civilians during military operations.
According to Save the Children, nearly 33,000 youngsters were killed or maimed during the US occupation of Afghanistan, not including those who died from hunger and disease.
“What remains after 20 years is a generation of children whose entire lives have been blighted by the misery and impact of war,” it said on Monday.
“The magnitude of human suffering of the past two decades is beyond comprehension.”
Published at morningstaronline.co.uk