Disclosure statement

Neta C. Crawford receives funding from the Carnegie coporation, group of brand-new York. She is co-director of the expenses of War job based at Brown University.

You are watching: Death toll in afghanistan since 2001



chairman George W. Bush speaks come soldiers from the 10th Mountain department at fort Drum. Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty pictures

The U.S. Started bombing Afghanistan a couple of weeks later. The Taliban surrendered in Kandahar ~ above Dec. 9, 2001. The U.S. Started to fight them again in earnest in in march 2002. In April 2002, President shrub promised to assist bring “true peace” come Afghanistan: “Peace will be accomplished by helping Afghanistan build its very own stable government. Tranquility will be achieved by help Afghanistan train and also develop its own nationwide army. And also peace will certainly be accomplished through an education system because that boys and also girls which works.”

The worldwide war top top terror was no confined to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Now has counterterrorism operations in 85 countries.

The human cost

Most Afghans alive this particular day were no born once the U.S. War began. The median age in Afghanistan is just 18.4 year old. Including their country’s war v the Soviet Union from 1979 come 1989 and also civil battle in the 1990s, many Afghans have lived under nearly constant war.

There are, follow to the U.S. Office of labor Statistics, 980,000 U.S. Afghanistan battle veterans. Of this men and also women, 507,000 served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

As the mid-August 2021, 20,722 members of the U.S. Military had been injured in action in Afghanistan, not including the 18 that were injured in the strike by ISIS-K outside the airplane in Kabul on Aug. 26, 2021.

Of the veterans that were injured and also lost a body in the post-9/11 wars, many lost much more than one. Follow to Dr. Paul Pasquina the the Uniformed services University that the health Sciences, of this veterans, “About 40% come 60% additionally sustained a mind injury. Since of some of the lessons learned and also the technologies that have taken location on the battlefield … we were taking treatment of service members who in previous disputes would have actually died.”

In fact, due to the fact that of developments in trauma care, an ext than 90% of all soldiers in Afghanistan and also Iraq that were injured in the ar survived. Countless of the serious injured endured wounds that in the past could have eliminated them.

In all, 2,455 U.S. Business members were eliminated in the Afghanistan War. The figure consists of 13 U.S. Troops that were killed by ISIS-K in the Kabul airport attack on Aug. 26, 2021.


A interment for among 2,455 U.S. Troops who passed away in Afghanistan. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty photos

U.S. Deaths in procedure Enduring Freedom also include 130 organization members who died in other locations besides Afghanistan, including Guantanamo only in Cuba, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and also Yemen.

The U.S. Has paid US$100,000 in a “death gratuity” to the survivors of each of the business members killed in the Afghanistan war, totaling $245.5 million.

More than 46,000 civilians have actually been killed by every sides in the Afghanistan conflict. These space the straight deaths indigenous bombs, bullets, blasts and fire. Thousands more have been injured, according to the unified Nations aid Mission in Afghanistan.

And if the variety of Afghans leaving the country has increased in current weeks, an ext than 2.2 million displaced Afghans were living in Iran and Pakistan in ~ the finish of 2020. The United countries Refugee firm reported in late August 2021 that since the start of the year, more than 558,000 civilization have to be internally displaced, having fled their homes to to escape violence.

According come the joined Nations, in 2021 around a 3rd of people remaining in Afghanistan are malnourished. About half of all children under 5 years old endure malnutrition.

The human being toll also includes the hundreds of Pakistani civilians who were killed in more than 400 U.S. Drone strikes due to the fact that 2004. Those strikes taken place as the U.S. Sought to kill Taliban and al-Qaida leaders that fled and also sheltered over there in so late 2001 ~ the U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan. Pakistani civilians have additionally been eliminated in crossfire throughout fighting in between militants and also the Pakistani military.

The financial cost

In terms of the commonwealth budget, Congress has allocated a little bit over $1 trillion come the department of Defense because that the Afghanistan War. Yet all told, the Afghanistan war has cost much more than that. Consisting of the department of Defense spending, much more than $2.3 trillion has been spent so far, including increases to the Pentagon’s basic military budget plan due to the fighting, State department spending to reconstruct and democratize Afghanistan and also train that is military, interest on borrowing to pay because that the war, and also spending because that veterans in the Veteran affairs system.

The complete costs so much for every post-9/11 battle veterans’ disability and also medical treatment costs are about $465 billion through fiscal 2022. And also this doesn’t encompass the future costs of all the post-9/11 veterans’ medical and also disability care, i m sorry Harvard university scholar Linda Bilmes approximates will most likely add around $2 trillion to the as whole cost of treatment for veterans the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars between now and also 2050.

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The war in Afghanistan, like countless other wars before it, started with hopeful assessments that a quick victory and the promise come rebuild in ~ war’s end. In spite of Bush’s warning the a prolonged campaign, few thought then the would typical decades. But 20 years later, the U.S is still counting the costs.

Editor’s note: This short article was update on Sept. 1, 2021 to exactly the total death gratuity payment to survivors of business members eliminated in the Afghanistan battle to $245.5 million.