No less than 1.2 million people were killed in 12 years of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a scientific report.
Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the “War on Terror” was authored by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).
The executive summary of the report reads (emphasis mine):
The purpose of this investigation is to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan during 12 years of ‘war on terrorism’. An extensive review has been made of the major studies and data published on the numbers of victims in these countries. This paper draws on additional information such as reports and statistics on military offensives and examines their completeness and plausibility. It applies interpolation to calculate the figures for those periods for which no information is available. Even now, 13 years after this war began, there has still been no equivalent study.
This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs. And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
Dr. Hans von Sponeck, former UN assistant secretary-general and UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, detailed in the preface of the report how official US government figures for deaths and injuries are grossly underestimated.
“Governments and civil society know now that on all counts these assertions have proved to be preposterously false,” von Sponeck wrote. “Facts are indeed stubborn.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility, the US affiliate of IPPNW, added, “Unfortunately, these deaths have been effectively hidden from our collective consciousness and consciences by political leaders seeking to pursue military solutions to complex global issues with little, if any, accountability.”
The report also estimates that — once again, in a conservative estimate — the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost at least $3 trillion tax dollars.
Today, the conditions of life for peoples in both nations are significantly worse. Former Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya lamented in a 2013 interview that, in her country, “imperialism and fundamentalism has joined hands.” She said:
[The] consequences of the 12 years of occupation of U.S. and NATO, unfortunately, was more bloodshed, crimes, women rights, human rights violations, looting of our resource and changing of our country into mafia state, as during these 12 bloody years tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by occupation forces and terrorist groups.
Afghanistan remains under US occupation, in spite of Obama’s constant insistence he would remove troops by 2014.
In Iraq, the government was completely destroyed. Al-Qaeda had no significant presence in the country when the US invaded; it was the illegal US occupation that brought extremists into Iraq. The chaos of the US war and occupation destabilized not just Iraq, but the entire Middle East, eventually leading to the rise of ISIS, the Frankenstein’s monster of US war.
In the horrific 9/11 attacks, 2,977 Americans were killed. The US government responded to this act of terror with a merciless campaign of state terror. In the subsequent “War on Terror” and the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq—the latter of which had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks—more than 1.2 million Iraqis and Afghans were killed. This is a ratio of more than 400 to one.