Brown University’s “Costs of War” project estimated in a new report Tuesday that 37 million people have been displaced in the nearly 20 years since former President George W. Bush declared a “global war on terror.”
The authors said the figure is “a very conservative estimate,” and the number could actually be in the range of 48-59 million.
Iraq has the most displaced people, with 9.2 million who had to flee their homes, according to the study. Millions of citizens in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Libya were also displaced.
The number of people displaced by the war on terror exceeds every other conflict since 1900, except for World War II.
ARMY CHIEF RESPONDS TO TRUMP CRITICISM: WAR RECOMMENDATION IS ‘LAST RESORT’
“The displacement and other suffering must be central to any analysis of the post-9/11 wars and to any conceivable consideration of the future use of military force by the United States or any other country,” the authors argue. “The legitimacy and efficacy of war should be questioned more than ever given nearly two decades of disastrous outcomes.”
A senior Trump administration official told reporters aboard Air Force One Tuesday night to expect an announcement on a partial troop withdrawal from Iraq on Wednesday, and another announcement on Afghanistan in the coming days.
President Trump has routinely promised to bring U.S. troops home from overseas and wind down America’s wars. Most recently, he said that he will get America out of these “crazy endless wars.”
“And it’s one of the reasons the military — I’m not saying the military is in love with me; the soldiers are,” Trump said at the White House Monday. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS TOP PENTAGON BRASS SEEK WARS TO KEEP DEFENSE CONTRACTORS ‘HAPPY’
Army chief of staff Gen. James McConville responded at a Defense One event Tuesday, saying that “senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it is required in national security and in the last resort.”
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows clarified on Tuesday that the President was criticizing “the special interest groups here in Washington, D.C.”
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Trump’s remarks came after The Atlantic reported last week that Trump dismissed American soldiers who died in wars as “suckers” and “losers.” Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin has confirmed parts of the report. The president, meanwhile, has vehemently denied the story, calling it a “hoax.”
While Trump wants to bring U.S. troops home, he has sought to drastically cut the number of refugees allowed into America. Last September, the Trump administration proposed cutting the number of refugees admitted to the United States annually to 18,000. That’s just a fraction of the 110,000 refugees that the Obama administration hoped would be admitted by fiscal year 2017.