A Need for Urgency

Since 2010 the number of wars around the globe has nearly doubled, making this decade the fastest rise in the number of armed conflicts in since the end of World War II.[1]  Among the dozens of ongoing conflicts, three stand out in terms of number people killed, long years of fighting, and impact on global events: Syria (over 500,000 killed), Afghanistan (190,000 killed), Iraq (300,000 killed).[2] In spite of trillions of dollars spent and nearly a million killed across these conflicts, efforts to end these wars have failed. The consequences have been global in nature. These conflicts have contributed to a rise in terrorism, a rise in forced migration – resulting into the massive refugee crisis Europe, and a rise in regional tensions spanning Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Source: Uppsala Conflict Data Program

Afghanistan  16 years at war and 190,000 killed

After sixteen years of war, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. By conservative estimates, the government of Afghanistan now controls less than 60% of the country’s territory, and the Taliban continues to gain ground.[3] Since 2001, more than 190,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed.[4] More than 2,500 Americans have died, with 20,000 wounded at a $1 trillion[5] price tag.  And despite a revived effort by the United States to begin a peace process, every year since 2006 has experienced in an increase in numbers killed.

Iraq  14 years at war and 300,000 killed

In Iraq, there is a civil war taking place between Shia Muslims leading the central government on one side and ISIS on the other. Fourteen years since the American led invasion of Iraq, the country continues to be embroiled in a civil war that has killed over nearly 300,000 people, mostly civilians. Caught in between the fight are scores of innocent civilians. Even as a significant portion of the global effort to fight ISIS in Iraq and other places focuses on defeating the terror group, it will likely rebalance its resources in areas where grievances between warring sects remains deep. Therefore, any effort to defeat ISIS and its global terror campaign will require resolving the conflict Iraq.

Syria  6 Years at war and 500,000 killed

Syria has now entered its sixth year of civil war, it is now the deadliest conflict of the past decade with over 500,000 killed. As the ruling family of dictator Bashar al-Assad now struggles to control less than 80% of the country’s territory, Syria is now fragmented into numerous localized areas with dozens of armed groups competing for control of territory. As the global coalition to fight ISIS continues lays siege to the terror group’s capital in the eastern town of Raqqa, the conflict rages with more than half a million killed, and like Afghanistan and Iraq, most of those killed are civilians.

 The Need for Project Endgame

Despite the obstacles to peace and numerous failed efforts, these conflicts need to end.

Project Endgame is a data driven research initiative aimed at accelerating conditions for peace on the most protracted conflicts. Our focus with Project Endgame begins with conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  Through Project Endgame’s rigorous capture of data from war zones and a global network of data scientists and conflict experts, we fund research aimed at discovering pathways to ending these conflicts. We then report our findings and recommendations to the global peace community, the media and you – our donors.

Why We Need Your Help

As we are entering the seventh year of this decade, these wars continue with no end in sight. As trillions of dollars are spent funding these wars, few resources are spent on resolving them. These conflicts have contributed to the rise of global terrorism and are a catalyst for the global refugee crisis that has resulted in the displacement of millions of innocent civilians seeking to escape war. Your contribution to Project Endgame will allow us to fund invaluable work aimed at data-driven research seeking to end these conflicts. Every dollar counts, as peace efforts aimed at ending these conflicts dwarf in comparison the massive amounts of money spent toward financing these wars. To date, the United States has spent over 3 trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.

Even ISIS, which was once considered a small terror group, now has annual revenue over 1.5 billion dollars derived from extorting a population base of between 4-7 million people, and other revenue generating operations such as oil smuggling. In Afghanistan, the Taliban have an estimated annual revenue of over 600 million dollars mainly from the sale of opium, and the Assad regime in Syria continues to be propped up by the Russian and Iranian governments. The point is – most of the money spent on these conflicts – is allocated toward arming the opposing sides, which is one of the main reasons why they are so prolonged and bloody. We need a revival of efforts aimed at accelerating an end to these conflicts while also seeking new approaches and ideas. Help end these conflicts. Help Project Endgame.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/us-intel-says-risk-of-conflicts-will-increase-over-the-next-5-years-2017-1

[2] http://www.css.ethz.ch/en/services/digital-library/articles/article.html/a7992888-34fc-44e6-8176-2fcb3aada995

[3] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-war-idUSKBN15G40M

[4] https://news.brown.edu/articles/2016/08/costs-war

[5] http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/10/01/the-war-in-afghanistan-cost-of-33000-per-citizen-and-will-not-end-well/

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