31 August, 2021

Mapping the American sacrifice in Afghanistan

icon afghanistan,sacrifice,Veterans,war
Over 2,300 American service members died in Afghanistan and thousands more were injured since President Bush declared war in 2001. This is a tribute to their sacrifice.

A tribute to the over 2,300 brave American service members who died in Afghanistan and the thousands more injured since President Bush first declared war in 2001.

Honoring the American sacrifice in Afghanistan

This map can be freely shared with this link or embedded in a website with this code:

< iframe src="" width="100%" height="500px" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen allow="geolocation"></iframe>

Mapping the sacrifice

How does one make sense of a war spanning twenty years and thousands of American lives and over six trillion dollars? When did the sacrifice occur? Where were these brave servicemen and women from?

This StoryMap displays publicly available fatality data from the Defense Casualty Analysis System in a time sequence map using ArcGIS Online. You can control the speed and time period of how the sacrifice grew year by year. You can also drill down to get the details about an individual sacrifice by clicking on a dot.

Time sequence control allows you to control the speed at which data is displayed.
A time sequence map displays data over a period of time. This one shows where th servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan were from in the U.S.

The cost of war

Videos and data from iCasualties and the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University provide context to the map.

"The mission of the post-9/11 wars, as originally defined, was to defend the United States against future terrorist threats from al Qaeda and affiliated organizations. Since 2001, the wars have expanded from the fighting in Afghanistan, to wars and operations in more than 80 countries.

Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars—an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum of $1 Trillion for US obligations to care for the veterans of these wars through the next several decades. These wars, and the domestic counter-terror mobilization, have entailed significant expenses, paid for by deficit spending.

The DOD regularly produces a tabulation of the “Estimated Cost to Each Taxpayer for the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” In March of this year, their most recent public estimate concluded that Department of Defense OCO spending for the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan cost a total $7,623 per taxpayer through FY 2018." - Watson Institute   

The current $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill under debate is a little over half what the U.S. spent fighting in Afghanistan and other countries. These wars have cost 2,400 brave men and women their lives and every American tax payer $7,623.

 threats from al Qaeda and affiliated organizations. Since 2001, the wars have expanded from the fighting in Afghanistan, to wars and smaller operations elsewhere, in more than 80 countries.

Coalition To Support American Heroes

Thousands of seriously wounded veterans  in Afghanistan and Iraq, struggle to overcome the challenges in their lives caused by the injuries and illnesses they sustained in combat. The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c) (3) organization that works to ensure that in return for the sacrifices they made for us, these wounded veterans and their families receive all the support needed to restore their hope and rebuild their lives. 

TakeAway: Honor their sacrifice in Afghanistan. Prioritize where America spends lives and taxpayer money.


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