March 25, 2023

Of the 76 countries the United States is currently fighting terrorism, at least three are deadly: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

As U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan approaches a year, Brown University war cost item Report Detail how deadly they are. It counted the number of people killed in “America’s post-9/11 war” in those three countries, as well as others.

The report counts deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan between October 2001 and October 2018 and in Iraq between March 2003 and September 2021.

Twenty years after the US invaded Afghanistan to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban in October 2001, on August 30, 2021, the US completed its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban regained full control of the country.

A suicide bomber killed 200 people in Kabul in the weeks before and after the withdrawal, while a U.S. drone strike later killed 10 civilians in the final days of the war.

In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime under the pretext that the regime possessed weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. The U.S. withdrew in 2011, paving the way for the rise of ISIS and the redeployment of U.S. forces.

Pakistan is a little fuzzy. The US has carried out hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan since 9/11 and used the country as a military staging ground — but Islamabad has also been accused of harboring terrorists.

The Cost of War report (which compiles data from governments, NGOs, the media, etc.) states that the actual death toll is low due to the limited number of deaths recorded in conflict zones.

“For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have lost their lives in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS, but their bodies are likely not recovered,” the report said.

It also noted that the death toll was direct, not indirect, such as “lack of access to food, water, sanitation, electricity or other infrastructure”.

Here’s what they found.

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