Some of the key findings of the Costs of War Project include:
At least 801,000 people have died as a result of direct violence in the war, including armed forces of all parties to the conflict, contractors, civilians, journalists and humanitarian workers.
More times more have died indirectly in these wars, due to cascading effects such as malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation.
More than 335,000 civilians have been killed in direct violence by all parties to these conflicts.
More than 7,000 American soldiers have died in the wars.
We don’t know the full extent of the number of American soldiers returning from these wars who were injured or sickened during their deployment.
Many US contractor deaths and injuries were not reported as required by law, but approximately 8,000 likely died.
37 million people have been displaced by the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines.
The US government conducts counterterrorism activities in 85 countries, which significantly expands the scope of this war around the world.
The post-9/11 wars have contributed significantly to climate change. The Department of Defense is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. The wars were accompanied by the erosion of civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad.
The human and economic costs of these wars will last for decades with some costs, such as the financial costs of caring for veterans in the United States, that will not peak until mid-century.
Most US government funding for reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan has gone toward arming the security forces of both countries. Much of the money earmarked for humanitarian relief and rebuilding civil society has been lost to fraud, waste and abuse.
The cost of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and elsewhere is about $6.4 trillion. This does not include future interest costs on borrowing for wars.
The cascading effects on the US economy have also been significant, including job losses and interest rate increases.
Persuasive alternatives to war in the aftermath of 9/11 have rarely been considered, or in the debate over the war against Iraq. Some of these alternatives are still available to the United States.