Boston U.'s Costs of War Project releases findings

The cumulative casualty toll for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan shows 173,000 deaths since 2001.
The cumulative casualty toll for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan shows 173,000 deaths since 2001. | File photo

Researchers from the Costs of War project recently released a combined and cumulative casualty toll for the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, showing 173,000 deaths and 183,000 serious injuries since 2001.

“While all eyes are on the war in Syria and Iraq and on terrorist attacks at home, the United States’ first post-9/11 war continues,” Costs of War project co-director and study author Neta C. Crawford, a professor of political science at Boston University, said. “At this point, despite what President [Barack] Obama recently described as ‘all the blood and treasure we’ve invested in Afghanistan over the years,’ the war in Afghanistan has increased in intensity.”

The Costs of War project, which is housed at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, sought to highlight the direct and indirect impact of the war on human life and well-being, a difficult task due to the difficulty of accessing information.

“It is crucial that a nation at war, as the United States has been for nearly fifteen years, look rigorously at the facts about the impact of that violence on all concerned,” Brown professor of anthropology and international studies Catherine Lutz, who co-directs the project, said. “These numbers, moreover, reflect just those killed directly. Many more have died as an indirect result of the wars and their destruction of infrastructure and community health.”

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