This Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war that lasted eight years and involved the deaths of some 4,600 U.S. service members. Iraq was part of the broader “Global War on Terror,” a term coined by the Bush administration to reflect the United States’ new aggressive policy following the events of September 11.
From the Pentagon and the World Trade Center to a field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the attacks left 3,400 people dead. The events of that day also spawned a new era in U.S. foreign policy – one that would lead to thousands more American deaths in the coming decades.
Less than one month after the 9/11 attacks, the War on Terror began when the U.S. and NATO allies started military strikes in Afghanistan. Then, in 2003, the War on Terror escalated further, when the U.S. launched an invasion of Iraq.
Though the ongoing War on Terror achieved several goals, including the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and regime change in Iraq, the results came at a steep price. Since the first American was killed in Afghanistan in October 2001, nearly 6,900 American service men and women from all 50 states have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Here is a look at how many Americans died in the U.S. military each year since 1980.)
Using data compiled by iCasualties, a website that tracks the death toll from the post 9/11 wars, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where the most service members were killed in conflicts stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. States are listed by the number of residents who died in post-9/11 conflicts as a share of all deaths in these conflicts across the 50 states.
Though the U.S. has since withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq, no corner of the country remains untouched by the wars of the last 20 years. Across the U.S., the number of Americans who have died serving in the War on Terror – including military personnel, intelligence agents, or those deployed in a civilian capacity – ranges from 17 to 755, depending on the state.
It is important to note that while the vast majority of Americans killed during the War on Terror died in combat situations, hundreds of deaths also occurred in non-hostile situations. Many of the deaths on this list were the result of accidents like aircraft crashes and friendly fire incidents. Death tolls also include those attributable to illness and suicide. (Here is a look at the 12 wars where the most Americans died outside of combat.)
Click here to see each state’s death toll in America’s post 9/11 wars.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.
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