Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States’ Post-9/11 Wars

Summary of Study

Bottom line: Since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, at least 37 million people worldwide have become international refugees or become internally displaced due to U.S. foreign policy -- more than any other conflict since the beginning of the 20th century besides World War II.

Since 9/11, the U.S. has waged war nearly constantly in at least 24 different countries. Millions of people have been killed or injured as a result. Tens of millions have been forced to flee this violence and its associated consequences. This study estimates that 37 million people have been displaced by the eight major wars that the U.S. has engaged in since 2001. These include conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria.

Including the displaced people from smaller combat operations increases this estimate of displaced persons to as many as 54 million. These include combat operations in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.

Among those displaced in major conflicts, 25.3 million have been returned after being displaced. Yet just because they have returned does not mean that they have not been significantly traumatized. Displacement has caused incalculable harm to individuals, families, towns, cities, regions, and entire countries physically, socially, emotionally, and economically.

An estimated 770,000 to 801,000 civilians and combatants, on all sides, have died as a direct result of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen since U.S. forces began fighting. Millions more have died indirectly as a result of these conflicts.

Mass displacement, death, and suffering must be analyzed when considering the impact of the post-9/11 wars and the potential for ongoing conflict. These consequences must also be considered when judging the legitimacy and necessity of future wars. The U.S. government and its citizens may be responsible for taking steps to repair and make amends for this widespread damage and its associated costs.

Read the full report HERE

Feature Charticle

Millions Displaced by U.S. Post-9/11 Wars

Costs of War Project

Findings:

  • This study estimates that 37 million people have been displaced by the eight major wars that the U.S. has engaged in since 2001. 
  • Including the displaced people from smaller combat operations increases this estimate of displaced persons to as many as 54 million.
  • Displacement has caused incalculable harm to individuals, families, towns, cities, regions, and entire countries physically, socially, emotionally, and economically.
  • The U.S. government and its citizens may be responsible for taking steps to repair and make amends for this widespread damage and its associated costs.  

Read the full study HERE