The price of the global war on terror in the United States (US) is estimated at around USD 8 trillion. That’s the latest report from Brown University’s Cost of War project.
Estimated factors include future costs for veteran care, total budget costs and future liabilities from the post-9/11 war.
The report attributed $2.3 trillion to the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zones, $2.1 trillion to the Iraq and Syria war zones, and $355 billion to other war zones.
Dr. Neta C. Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project, in a statement said the project’s accounting topped the Pentagon’s figures as the costs of reaction to the events of September 11 had swelled through the entire budget.
Costs of War also estimates that the war on terror, which will mark its 20th birthday in a few weeks on September 11, has directly killed 897,000 to 929,000 people – including at least 387,072 civilians.
Crawford said this is most likely the true toll this war has taken human lives.
“It’s imperative that we properly take into account the wide and varied consequences of the many US wars and counterterrorism operations since 9/11, as we pause and reflect on all the lives lost,” Crawford added. 2021).
In a report released last year, Costs of War estimated that the war on terror has displaced at least 37 million people on top of the hundreds of thousands who died in the violence of outright war.
The US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan on Monday and is weighing the consequences of the 20-year conflict. The final stage of withdrawal took place under violent and chaotic conditions, with the Taliban returning to control of Afghanistan and thousands of people “climbing” out of the country.
Even though the US no longer has troops in Afghanistan, the war on terror is likely to continue there as the Biden administration signals that it will continue to target ISIS-K in the country via drones and other means.
The US also continues to have a military presence in Iraq and Syria, among other countries, and in recent weeks has carried out several air strikes against al Shabaab, an affiliate of the al-Qaeda group, in Somalia.
What have we actually accomplished in the 20 years following the 9/11 war, and at what price?” Dr Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project, said in a statement to the new report.
“Twenty years from now, we will still be calculating the high social costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – long after US troops have left,” he said.
Earlier in February a Costs of War report revealed that the US war on terror covered nearly half the world’s countries over the past three years. It marks a broad global footprint of nearly two decades in the “War on Terror” announced after the events of September 11.