GWOT has killed 500,000+ and the carnage is accelerating
It's amazing to think that we could have killed so many people, and yet the topic was barely even mentioned in the recent elections.
A study released Thursday says the U.S.-led war on terrorism has killed about 507,000 people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan during its 17 years and is showing a 22 percent increase in deaths in the past two years.
The death toll includes U.S. and allied troops, civilians in the war zones, local military and police forces, as well as militants, who have died from war violence, according to the report by Brown University's Costs of War Project.
The report said the number of indirect deaths was several times larger than deaths caused by direct war violence, bringing the total death count to well over 1 million people.
— Win Without War (@WinWithoutWar) November 8, 2018
As horrific as as that number is, it doesn't encompass the entire GWOT.
For instance, Syria isn't counted. Consider the example of Raqqa.
One year after the U.S.-led military campaign against ISIS ended in Raqqa, Khamis' team is still recovering the remains of the battle's casualties. This grim, daily work is revealing a civilian death toll that is dramatically higher than the assessment offered by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
The rescue workers' findings, which they document in meticulous notes shown to NPR, point to an offensive that killed many more civilians than it did ISIS members, and where the majority of those civilians likely died in American airstrikes.
...In May 2017, Defense Secretary James Mattis told CBS News the U.S. was accelerating and intensifying the campaign against ISIS, and added, "We have already shifted from attrition tactics ... to annihilation tactics."
"This new body count signals that, far from diminishing, the war is only intensifying."
- Stephanie Savell, co-director of the project
Also missing from this count is Yemen, where our drone strikes have killed around a thousand people, and the entire continent of Africa.
We've been bombing Somalia since 2007 and Libya since 2011, but the GWOT has barely even started there.
The Pentagon authorized three new classified contingency operations in February 2018, just months after the ill-fated October ambush in Niger that left four Army Special Forces personnel dead at the hands of ISIS-affiliated militants, according to a new report published Monday by the lead DoD inspector general for Operation Inherent Resolve published.
These classified missions — known as Operation Yukon Journey and “operations in Northwest Africa and East Africa,” according to the report — are designed to “degrade al Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated terrorists in the Middle East and specific regions of Africa.” And while details on those operations are scant due to their sensitive nature, the DoD OIG report says the Pentagon was unable to answer critical questions regarding the U.S. military presence there:
There is only one appropriate way to end this depressing essay.
“The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist."
- George Orwell, 1984