By Mayukh Saha
Costs of War, a research reslult published by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs in Rhode Island’s Brown University has recently put a specific number on the leader of the free world’s spending on war. After the 911 bombings, which took place about seventeen years ago, this report comes quite late.
The number is $5.9 trillion.
Yes, you read that correctly!
Not only that, it has also calculated the human cost of these two decades too and the breakdown is as follows:-
370,000 people have died because of direct war-related reasons, 250,000 civilians have died because of the same, while more have died due to inflation and malnutrition that was caused by the wars led by the US.
And, about 10.1 million were and remain displaced thanks to the wars resulting from 9/11.
Now, coming to the losses on the side of the US itself, well they amount to 6900 and 7800 military personnel and contractors respectively. The number of enemy troops killed has been 110,000.
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Now, if that wasn’t enough to disgust you, the number of people killed in Syria in the efforts to depose the Bashar al-Assad government in 2011 has amounted to roughly 500,000.
Since 2014, about 70 countries led by the US have been carrying on operations against the Daesh government in Syria and Iraq. And ironically, this series of violent attacks has neither been sanctioned by the rightful Syrian government nor the UN Security Council.
The $5.9 trillion has been spent on wars in problem nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.
This number is widely different from the Pentagon-cited figure because obviously, it includes all bases, like all contingencies of war and preparations.
And just by the way, the Pentagon-mandated figure is $1.5 trillion.
The expenses, especially the recent ones, were exclusively funded by loans from various organizations like the World Bank.
To quote the report itself:
“Unless the US immediately repays the money borrowed for war, there will also be future interest payments. We estimate that interest payments could total over $7.9 trillion by 2053.”
And all these large sums of money will end up in the stalemate-like situation the current scenario is.
But, in other news, Trump has announced the pulling out of troops from Syria, among other things. Now, if that too will end up as another Trumpism or actually materialize into action is another issue altogether.
Doesn’t really kill to hope though!
IMAGE CREDIT: Michal Bednarek