Graphics: Major U.S. military operations since World War II

Two decades ago, on October 7, 2001, the onset of the U.S. bombing campaign against the Taliban triggered an endless nightmare for the Afghan people. 

While combating al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the U.S. also caused a large number of unnecessary civilian casualties. U.S. troops caused the deaths of more than 30,000 civilians, injured more than 60,000, and created about 11 million refugees, according to the Severe Humanitarian Disasters Caused by U.S. Aggressive Wars against Foreign Countries published by The China Society for Human Rights Studies in April 2021. 

After the U.S. military announced its withdrawal in 2014, Afghanistan continued to be in turmoil. In the first half of 2019, there were 363 confirmed deaths due to the U.S. bombs in Afghanistan, including 89 children, according to the New York Times. Scholars at Kabul University estimated that the Afghanistan War caused about 250 casualties and the loss of 60 million U.S. dollars per day.

Read more:

The 20-year war in Afghanistan: What happened and what's next?

Yet, this is only one of the aggressive wars the U.S. has waged after World War II. From 1945 to 2001, among the 248 armed conflicts that occurred in 153 regions of the world, 201 were initiated by the United States, accounting for 81 percent of the total number.

​​Apart from being directly involved in wars, the United States has intervened directly or indirectly in other countries' affairs by supporting proxy wars, inciting anti-government insurgencies, carrying out assassinations, providing weapons and ammunition, and training anti-government armed forces, which have caused serious harm to the social stability and public security of the countries involved. As such activities are great in number and the full extent has not been made public, it is hard to collect specific data regarding all of them.

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