A new study from the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute estimates that over 4.5 million people have died from wars launched by the west in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks.
The study estimates that between 906,000 to 937,000 people have been killed as a direct result of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.
“These countries have experienced the most violent wars in which the US government has been involved in the name of counterterrorism since 2001,” the report highlights.
Moreover, 3.6 million people are estimated to have died indirectly from the effects of western wars, including economic collapse, food insecurity, destruction of public health facilities, environmental contamination, and recurring violence.
However, the researchers go on to stress that “the true impacts [of war] are so vast and complex that they are unquantifiable and thus [the report] does not generate a precise mortality figure, but instead provides a reasonable and conservative estimate.”
The study also points to other factors that exacerbate the crisis in war-torn nations, including “natural disasters, climate chaos, and forced displacement.”
It also highlights that women and children are the most vulnerable to the effects of war, with researchers calculating that over 7.6 million children under five suffer from acute malnutrition in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.
“The post-9/11 wars have occurred in countries whose populations are largely Black and brown and are often waged by countries with histories of white supremacism and Islamophobia,” the report adds.