The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed at least 500,000 people, according to a new report that breaks down the toll

US Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in March 2011.

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US Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in March 2011.
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Pfc. Cameron Boyd

Of the 76 countries in which the US is currently fighting terrorism, at least three have been incredibly deadly: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Brown University’s Costs of War Project recently released a report detailing just how deadly they’ve been. It counts how many people have been killed by the “United States’ post-9/11 wars” in these three countries.

The report accounts for deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan between October 2001 and October 2018, and in Iraq between March 2003 and October 2018.

In October 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan to defeat the al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but little progress has been made after more than 17 years of war. In March 2003, the US invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein’s regime under the pretense that the regime had weapons of mass destruction, most notably nuclear weapons. The US pulled out in 2011, paving the way for the rise of ISIS and the re-deployment of US troops.

Pakistan is a little murkier. Since 9/11, the US has conducted hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan and used the country as a military staging area – but Islamabad has been accused of harboring terrorists as well.

The Costs of War report (which compiled data from governments, NGOs, media, and more) notes that the actual number of deaths are low because of the limits documenting death in conflict zones.

“For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS but their bodies have likely not been recovered,” the report said.

It also notes that the death toll is only direct deaths – not indirect deaths, such as “loss of access to food, water, health facilities, electricity or other infrastructure.”

Here’s what they found.


6,951 US military deaths.

US Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in March 2011.

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US Army soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in March 2011.
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Pfc. Cameron Boyd

Iraq: 4,550 deaths.

Afghanistan: 2,401 deaths.

Pakistan: 0 deaths.

There were also 21 civilian DOD deaths, including six in Afghanistan and 15 in Iraq, the Cost of War report notes.


7,820 US contractor deaths.

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Construction Control Representative, James Fielden, Local National Quality Assurance Representative, and Project Engineer, Brian Cagle, discuss the drilling operations of a new water well with the contractors at the Kandahar Air Wing Waste & Water Treatment Project.
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US Army Corps of Engineers

Iraq: 3,793 deaths.

Afghanistan: 3,937 deaths.

Pakistan: 90 deaths.


109,154 national military and police deaths.

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Afghan National Army (ANA) officers take part in a training exercise at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) in Kabul, Afghanistan October 17, 2017.
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Reuters

Iraq: 41,726 deaths.

Afghanistan: 58,596 deaths.

Pakistan: 8,832 deaths.


1,464 Allied troop deaths.

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Italian soldiers, deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, and members of the Iraqi counter-terrorism force use a military fighting vehicle as cover before moving towards an objective during military training in Mosul, Iraq, April 5, 2018.
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US Army

Iraq: 323 deaths.

Afghanistan: 1,141 deaths.

Pakistan: 0 deaths.


244,124 — 266,427 civilians.

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Iraqis flee their neighborhoods to safer locations on November 28, 2016 in an eastern district of the city of Mosul.
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Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

Iraq: 182,272 – 204,575 deaths.

Afghanistan: 38,480 deaths.

Pakistan: 23,372 deaths.


109,396 — 114,471 opposition fighters.

Iraq: 34,806 – 39,881 deaths.

Afghanistan: 42,100 deaths.

Pakistan: 32,490 deaths.


362 journalists and media workers.

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An Afghan journalist working for Tolo News lights candles in front of pictures of his colleagues who were killed in a suicide attack Kabul, Afghanistan September 7, 2018.
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Reuters

Iraq: 245 deaths.

Afghanistan: 54 deaths.

Pakistan: 63 deaths.


566 humanitarian and NGO workers.

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A Red Crescent Society worker passes boxes of food down to a fellow worker in east Mosul, Iraq, May 14, 2018.
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US Army

Iraq: 62 deaths.

Afghanistan: 409 deaths.

Pakistan: 95 deaths.


479,858 — 507,236 total deaths.

Iraq: 267,792 – 295,170 deaths.

Afghanistan: 147,124 deaths.

Pakistan: 64,942 deaths.

Read the full report here.