The report, titled Costs of War, was published by the United States’ Brown University on Tuesday, weeks before the country enters its 20th year of waging wars around the world that began with the invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.
“Using the best available international data, this report conservatively estimates that at least 37 million people have fled their homes in the eight most violent wars the US military has launched or participated in since 2001,” Brown University said of the report’s findings.
The university said that the number was of people, mostly civilians, displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria, where fighting has been the most significant.
It stressed that the figure was a “conservative estimate” and the real number might range between 48 million and 59 million.
The authors of the report said the figure did not include the millions of other people who have been displaced in countries witnessing smaller US operations, including those in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, and Niger.
“This has been one of the major forms of damage, of course along with the deaths and injuries, that have been caused by these wars,” said David Vine, a professor of anthropology at American University and the lead author of the report.
“It tells us that US involvement in these countries has been horrifically catastrophic, horrifically damaging in ways that I don’t think that most people in the United States, in many ways myself included, have grappled with or reckoned with in even the slightest terms.”
The Brown University said the figures were obtained from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has compiled data on forced displacement worldwide since 1951.
The September 11, 2001 attacks, or the 9/11 attacks, were a series of strikes in the US that killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.
US officials said the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists, 15 of them being Saudi Arabian officials.
The official account of the attacks, however, have been questioned by some.