The United States’ “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq has directly killed at least 480,000 people since 2001, according to a new report by the Costs of War Project at Brown University. This is an increase of 113,000 over the last count, issued just two years ago.
The tally includes civilians, U.S. and allied troops, local military and police forces, and militants. But it does not include those who have died indirectly because of war and war-related displacement — because, for example, of water loss, sewage and other infrastructural issues, and war-related disease. The number of indirect deaths is several times larger than that caused by direct violence, bringing the war’s total death count to well over a million people. Public health-care systems and infrastructure in the war zones need to be repaired to mitigate the human toll of the wars.