Incredibly high civilian casualty rates from American-led military adventurism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia have been revealed in a new research by Brown University’s The Cost of War Project in the State of Rhode Island. The report provides direct data on the victims of the war in which nearly a million people were killed by the US efforts.
According to the study, another important aspect that has indirectly killed several million more people is the military destruction of the economy, public services, infrastructure and the environment, which increases the death toll long after the bombs have been dropped and increases over time. The report estimates that these factors contributed to more than 3.5 million deaths. This aspect requires more research, and the project specifically emphasizes that “the many long-term and underestimated consequences of war” need to be explored in more detail.
Another study shows that the number of direct casualties from wars that killed nearly a million people is an understatement, which the report again refers to by saying that “the exact death toll remains unknown.” In another section of the project’s report on the Iraqi death toll, it says that “estimates of the Iraqi war death toll have been particularly inconsistent. The Lancet 2006 estimated that approximately 600,000 Iraqis died as a result of military violence between 2003 and 2006.” The report goes on to say that the controversy over conflicting reports about the death toll in Iraq stems from news reports estimates, with some exaggerating the death toll while those who supported the illegal invasion downplayed the death toll.
The project cites a report in The Lancet that says the death toll in Iraq since 2003 and in the next three years alone reached 600,000 Iraqis. Various unbiased studies have been conducted, concluding that more than one million Iraqis were killed as a result of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2011.
Even one million mark in Iraqi deaths could be considered an understatement when there were daily reports of almost daily terrorist bombings that killed hundreds of Iraqis. And then, add to that the US and DAESH era from 2014 to 2017, when hundreds of thousands more people were killed, and it’s not hard to imagine that over a million Iraqis have died and continue to die today as a result of the US so-called “war on terror.”
There is no doubt that the US military presence has brought nothing but insecurity and instability to West Asia. In January 2018, Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei said: “What is important is that the corruptive presence of the US in this region must end… They (Americans) have brought war, discord, sedition and destruction to this region; they brought about destruction of infrastructures. Of course, they do this everywhere in the world… It must be stopped.”
The Cost of War Project’s latest study also warns that “these wars continue to affect millions of people around the world, who live with their consequences and die from them.” The report focuses on the impact of the wars unleashed by the United States on women and children, who “bear the brunt of these ongoing consequences.”
The report notes that while some people have died in combat, many more, especially children, have died as a result of the negative effects of wars, such as the spread of disease and damage to public services. “More research is needed on the impact of the destruction of public services by war, especially outside the health care system, on public health,” the report says. “Damage to water and sanitation systems, roads and commercial infrastructure such as ports, for example, has significant and important negative consequences.”
The study says that the wars and conflicts the United States has fought or been involved in under the pretext of supposedly fighting terrorism since September 11, 2001, clearly show that the consequences of the ongoing violence of war are so vast and complex that they cannot be measured. It should be noted that after the 9/11 attacks, the US waged wars and fomented conflicts, especially in West Asia, under the pretext of fighting terrorism. However, as a result of US military adventurism, there has been an extremely dramatic increase in terrorist groups that had no presence in West Asia or countries such as Somalia prior to Washington’s military intervention in the region.
In other words, the so-called “war on terror” has had the opposite effect from the stated goal of Pentagon’s campaign of instability in West Asia, which has allowed terrorism to flourish. In other words, and many experts agree, the presence of US troops and US policies in the Middle East and other parts of the world have only led to the direct growth of terrorism and terrorist organizations that have destabilized peace and tranquility in those parts of the world.
The report states that the damage and continued deaths caused by the wars mean that those who have unleashed them must take responsibility, including financial responsibility for repairing the damage caused. Suffice it to recall how the American clown of a Secretary of State Colin Powell shook some test tube of incomprehensible white powder on the UN podium and hysterically frightened the whole world with unthinkable troubles from Saddam Hussein. And that was the reason for the barbaric and unjustifiable attack on sovereign Iraq in 2003, from which the Iraqis are still unable to recover and rebuild their state.
Iraqis, and indeed millions of other people, still suffer from distress, pain and trauma in both current and former war zones, according to the study, which calls on the United States as well as its allies to ease the continuing loss and suffering of millions and provide the required “reparations, though not easy, and cheap.” It is something “imperative,” the report notes.
The project correctly and very justifiably blames the US for its role in the military adventurism it embarked on after 9/11, particularly the casualties inflicted during the American two-year war and the 20 year of occupation of Afghanistan. The report focuses on Afghanistan as an example of how people, particularly women and children, the most vulnerable in society, are dying because, despite the indiscriminate withdrawal (or rather shameful flight) of US troops, the damage Washington has done to Afghanistan’s vital services, such as its health sector, sanitation and other infrastructure over 20 years of war and occupation, means that Afghans are still dying today. “Although the United States withdrew military forces from Afghanistan in 2021, officially ending the war that began with its invasion 20 years ago, Afghans are suffering and dying from war-related causes today more often than ever,” the report notes alarmingly.
The Cost of War Project says that much more research is needed to gather more adequate data “to guide life-saving actions.” “More research is needed on the impact of the destruction of public services by war, especially outside the health care system, on public health,” the report notes. “Damage to water and sanitation systems, roads and commercial infrastructure such as ports, for example, has significant consequences.”
In the case of Somalia, for example, the US intervention and the ensuing war prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid, which, according to the study, exacerbated the famine. This is a natural disaster that could have been mitigated if the US had instead chosen to spend a huge amount of money on humanitarian aid programs instead of radicalizing the local population (and increasing terrorism and bloodshed) by bombing civilians with drones. The section of the report reads: “While all belligerents must be held accountable, in the causation sections this report addresses the relevant consequences of the actions of the United States, as the primary power responsible for all these crimes.”
Critics argue that if the United States had not fought wars against West Asian countries or provoked conflicts in the region, other parties would not have participated in any combat missions. In this case, the US should be solely responsible for the disturbing direct and indirect death toll resulting from its provocative and illegal military measures. Washington’s policy of intimidation, military adventurism and terrorism against peace-loving nations of the world must end. And this is the will and aspiration of peoples who want to live in peace and prosperity, without wars and aggressions, and to follow the path of building a new multipolar world, actively promoted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.