POST Online Media Lite Edition


U.S. spent more than $4 trillion on wars since 9/11

Staff Writer |
As of late September 2017, the United States wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and the additional spending on Homeland Security, and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs since the 9/11 attacks totaled more than $4.3 trillion in current dollars through FY2017.

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Adding likely costs for FY2018 and estimated future spending on veterans, the costs of war total more than $5.6 trillion.

The Pentagon publishes an “Estimated Cost to Each Taxpayer for the Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria,” which calculates the total taxpayer costs on those wars between Fiscal Years 2001 and 2018, writes Neta C. Crawford from the Brown University.

That report estimated that the total authorized spending for Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has been $1.52 trillion, and, on that basis, estimated a total cost to the individual taxpayer of $7,740 from FY2001 to FY2018.

Using a more comprehensive estimate of global war on terror costs since 2001, this report estimates that the total cost per individual taxpayer of the post-9/11 wars over this period is $23,386.

Because the U.S. went into deficit spending after 9/11, the cost of war per taxpayer will be higher as the US pays interest on borrowing for war.

The difference between this Costs of War Project estimate and other estimates is that it includes not only Pentagon/Department of Defense military spending, but other warrelated costs, including war-related spending by the State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security.

Further, as with previous reports, this report notes that every war costs money before, during and after it occurs — as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from armed conflict by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing infrastructure destroyed in the fighting.

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