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Report finds 4.5 mln died in US' post-9/11 wars: The Guardian

Tuesday May 23, 2023

US troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) Base in Logar province, Afghanistan Aug 7, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - A new report estimated that at least 4.5 million deaths occurred as a result of the post-9/11 warfare in places including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, The Guardian reported on Sunday.

Although the new report did not attempt to "apportion blame between various actors," the United States, which launched the "global war on terror" in 2001, "bears heavy responsibility" for the loss of lives, the British newspaper said.

The report was done by Stephanie Savell, a cultural anthropologist, and published by the Costs of War project at Brown University's Watson Institute.

It pointed out that up to 3.6 million of the deaths were "indirect deaths" caused "not by outright violence but by consequent, ensuing economic collapse, loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, destruction of public health services, environmental contamination and continuing trauma."

"Indirect deaths are devastating, not least because so many of them could be prevented, were it not for war," Savell wrote.

The report found a majority of the "indirect deaths" were poor women and children as gender-based violence and food shortage are often heightened during wartime, according to the newspaper.

The report estimated that, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia, over 7.6 million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition or extreme emaciation.

"The mental health effects of war reverberate through generations, impacting parents and children, and then their children after that," Savell wrote, adding that anxiety and depression are two to four times greater among conflict-affected populations than the global average.

Other lingering impacts from the wars detailed in the report include environmental contamination, unexploded ordnance, landmines, and damage to water, sanitation as well as aid and food distribution systems.


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