I’ve been recently wondering if it’s helpful not only to remember the anniversary of 9/11 which will soon be here but also to realize how the events on that day has impacted thousands of non-Americans in the following two decades.
The human cost of 9/11 and it’s aftermath are significant.
On 9/11, 2,996 people were killed and 6,000 wounded in the U.S.
According to the most recent data I could find, the U.S. military and its allies response after 9/11 resulted in 91,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants being killed in that conflict.
In Iraq from 2003 to 2011, 405,000 deaths are attributable to the war and occupation in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. The majority of these were civilians.
How can we balance and justify those disproportionate casualties especially since we know things are far from settled in either Iraq or Afghanistan and indeed in much of the Middle East.
Hindsight is of course 20/20 and sometimes we can only guess at the political and military strategies and motivation after 9/11.
But like Vietnam how will we view this slice of military history many years from now? During the Vietnam War it is estimated as many as 2 million civilians on both sides and some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters died. The U.S. military fatalities were 58,220.