A new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project revealed that 37 million people have been displaced thanks to the military conflicts the U.S. has conducted since September 11, 2001. According to the authors of this report, this number is the second highest number of people displaced by conflict, with World War II topping it.
These findings were published on September 8, 2020. Such numbers come at a time when there has been a growing number of migrants coming into Western countries, which has spurred immigration skepticism and nationalist sentiment among right-wing voting blocs of the population.
The report in question looks at numbers — largely civilian — that have been displaced in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The aforementioned countries are where the majority of fighting has taken place in the last decade or so. The New York Times pointed out that the initial number presented may actually be a conservative estimate. The real figures could be within the range of 48 million to 59 million. The calculations did not include millions of additional people who have faced displacement in countries such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger — all of which the U.S. runs counterterrorist operations in.
“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,” commented David Vine, a professor of anthropology at American University and the chief author of the report. “It tells us that U.S. 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.”
Although the U.S.’s interventionism is not the only factor behind the exodus, the authors of the study say it has played a contributing role in catalyzing this movement. Nevertheless, America First and liberty conservatives should be categorically opposed to these efforts because they don’t serve national interests and create refugee crises that eventually wash up on American shores.
The concepts of non-interventionism and immigration restriction go hand-in-hand. For America to move forward, it needs to be thinking internally and focusing on maintaining domestic order and not inserting itself everywhere abroad. Continuing the failed Bush and Obama era policies will eventually lead to financial ruin and open up the country for social disorder.
In public policy, you can only spend so many resources before the realities of scarcity hit, and other areas of public policy become woefully neglected.