According to the University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, illegal and truly unprovoked US invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Pakistan in the last over two decades have resulted in at least 4.5-4.6 million deaths, while anywhere between 38 and 60 million people have been displaced.
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
According to varying estimates, the United States of America has not been at war for only 13-17 years of its existence of 247 years. That would mean that 93-95% of its time as an independent nation, the belligerent thalassocracy has been at war. And this is only if we use the traditional definition of what war is.
On the other hand, if we were to use the definition of hybrid war that also includes coups and other forms of meddling, only then we would get the idea of the true scale of US aggression against the world. Such an endeavor would certainly require an academic approach and precisely this is what Providence-based Brown University did in its recent study that focused on the consequences of US wars in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
The results of the study are truly staggering. According to the University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, illegal and truly unprovoked US invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Pakistan in the last over two decades have resulted in at least 4.5-4.6 million deaths, while anywhere between 38 and 60 million people have been displaced. Unfortunately, this is not the end of it. The study also found that at least 7.6 million children under five are starving today due to the consequences of US aggressions and invasions. The style of research and the sources used by Brown University are certainly up for debate, as the numbers could easily be far worse. However, their findings are certainly not to be ignored.
The study claims that nearly a million people lost their lives in the fighting, while another 3.6 to 3.7 million were indirect deaths in connection to health and economic consequences caused by the wars. These include diseases, malnutrition, as well as the destruction of infrastructure and other crucial factors of economic and societal development. However, it should be noted that the claim about one million direct casualties in all US post-9/11 wars is highly debatable, as Iraq alone is estimated to have had at least one million dead as a result of the unprovoked US invasion in 2003, which was the second in only 12 years, although Washington DC never stopped air attacks in the meantime.
The study was conducted under the auspices of Brown University’s Cost of Wars program and also looked into the consequences of US aggression in Africa, particularly in Libya and Somalia. As previously mentioned, the report found that the countries affected by unprovoked American wars still have at least 7.6 million children under the age of five “who are suffering from acute malnutrition, meaning they are not getting enough food, literally wasting to skin and bones, putting these children at greater risk of death”. In some places, this includes a mind-blowing percentage of all children, with close to 50% of all Afghan kids currently malnourished, while it’s even worse in Yemen, where that number is almost 60%.
In another study published in 2021, conducted in the aftermath of the US defeat and humiliating expulsion from Afghanistan, the Cost of Wars project found that the US post-9/11 wars resulted in the displacement of at least 38 million people. This staggering number is higher than in any conflict in the 20th century with the notable exception of the Second World War. However, according to the authors themselves, “the 38 million is a very conservative estimate, as the total displaced by the U.S. post-9/11 wars could be closer to 49–60 million, which would rival World War II displacement”. In other words, the consequences of US aggression against the world are not far from those resulting from Nazi German invasions.
The more recent study emphasizes that this process is still ongoing, as millions are still living in war zones, meaning that countless people are still dying and suffering long-lasting consequences of US aggression. The report states that “today Afghans are suffering and dying from war-related causes at higher rates than ever”, despite the fact that the country has been liberated from the illegal US occupation. However, those killed, starving or suffering from illnesses aren’t the only consequences of “freedom and democracy”, as there are millions of people who have been wounded, very likely maimed for life, resulting in hardships that are even worse than those suffered by the rest of the population.
The study further highlights: “For instance, for every person who dies of a waterborne disease because war destroyed their access to safe drinking water and waste treatment facilities, there are many more who sicken… …Post-9/11 wars have caused widespread economic hardship for people in the war zones, and how poverty, in turn, has been accompanied by food insecurity and malnutrition, which have led to diseases and death, particularly amongst children under age five… …Hospitals, clinics, and medical supplies, water and sanitation systems, electricity, roads and traffic signals, infrastructure for farming and shipping goods, and much more are destroyed, damaged and disrupted, with lasting consequences for human health.”
Researchers also noted: “US drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia significantly impact people’s livelihood sources, killing workers, destroying farms and businesses, and bankrupting families. The severe impact of such economic setbacks on populations who depend on the land for their survival cannot be underestimated… …US-sponsored ‘counter-terrorism laws’ in Somalia have also hampered humanitarian relief efforts, intensifying the effects of famine.”
Economic consequences of US aggressions are virtually impossible to assess, as these are long-term and will reverberate for decades to come. For instance, more than 50% of Afghans live in extreme poverty, with less than $1.90 per day, resulting in a mind-blowing 95% of them not having enough food. In Yemen, nearly 18 million people are starving, while hundreds of thousands of children have died from famine in Somalia, where the US has been conducting covert “counterterrorism” operations for over 30 years. Taking such disastrous consequences into account, who could possibly blame nations such as North Korea for pursuing the creation of a strategic arsenal that would deter yet another truly unprovoked US aggression?