The Cost Of War Since September 11, 2001

Post 9-11 Statistics

U.S. Soldiers Continue Patrols Outside FOB Shank In Afghanistan
Scott Olson / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Every year, when Americans recall the horrors of September 11, 2001, it's important to pause and reflect on the ultimate cost of war -- the lives of our brave service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the "War on Terrorism."

As of June 12, 2017 (according to the DOD Casualty Report, the following War on Terrorism campaigns have the following data:

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) - This campaign includes casualties that occurred between October 7, 2001 and December 31, 2014.

 2,350 deaths have occurred and 20,092 have been injured in and around Afghanistan.

OPERATION FREEDOM'S SENTINEL (OFS) - OFS includes casualties that occurred in Afghanistan immediately after OEF concluded December 31, 2014. OFS began on 1 January 2015.  To date there are 40 U.S. deaths and 183 wounded in this current military operation. 

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) - OIF includes casualties that occurred in Iraq starting March 19, 2003.  On August 31, 2010, President Obama announced that the American combat mission in Iraq had ended. To date there are 4,424 U.S. deaths and 31,954 wounded in this current military operation. 

OPERATION NEW DAWN (OND) - OND includes casualties that occurred between September 1, 2010, and December 15, 2011. To date there are 73 U.S. deaths and 295 wounded in this current military operation. 

OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR) - Effective October 15, 2014, OIR was created to wage against the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, another name for the Islamic State) along the Syrian-Iraqi border.

To date there are 43 U.S. deaths and 42 wounded in this current military operation. 

The Army (including the Army National Guard and Reserves) comprises 49 percent of the total DOD force but sustained more than 70 percent of the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marine Corps (including the Reserves) makes up only 10 percent of the total DOD force, but experienced 23 percent of the combat related deaths.

The Navy (including Reserves) make up 19 percent of the total DOD force, and sustained over 2 percent of the total combat casualties. The Air Force (including Air National Guard and Reserves) comprises 21 percent of the total DOD force and experienced just over 1 percent of the total casualties. 

The active duty forces comprise 55 percent of the total DOD force and has experienced more than 80 percent of the total deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Reserve forces (Reserves and National Guard) make up 45 percent of the force and received nearly 19 percent of the total casualties.

Just under 3 percent of the total fatalities were women, who make up 16 percent of the total DOD force. Men, who make up 84 percent of the total force experienced 97% of the deaths in the two theaters of operation.

    Casualties Among the Races

    Whites make up 75 percent of the U.S. population (ages 18-44), and 67 percent of the total DOD force, but experienced 75 percent of the combat casualties. Among the 18-44 age-group, Blacks make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, 17 percent of the total DOD force, and experienced greater than 9 percent of the total casualties. Hispanics comprise 14 percent of the population, 9 percent of the total DOD force and had 10 percent of the casualties.

    Previous Decade's War

    In contrast, during the First Gulf War (1990-1991), 382 American service members died in-theater, 147 (38%) of those a result of direct combat.

    During the Vietnam War (1964 to 1975), there were 47,413 U.S. Military battle-related deaths, and 10,785 service members died from other causes.

    In the five years of World War II (1940-1945), 291,557 American troops lost their lives in combat, and 671,846 were wounded.

    The Real Cost of War

    What is the real cost of war? On just one day in September 2001, 2,792 people lost their lives when the twin towers fell in New York.

    Military, political, and world affairs experts will long be debating the wisdom and necessity of the "Iraqi War." Was the invasion necessary to the security of the United States, or even necessary for humanitarian or other essential reasons?

    "Experts" on both sides of the debate continue to disagree.

    One thing is certain. The one thing we can never forget is the cost. of war -- any war -- is high. The price tag is not measured only in dollars. It's measured in the loss of the most valuable asset of all -- the price of war is measured in the loss of human lives.