COSTS OF WAR

Since 9/11, the United States has committed incredible sums to of money to foreign wars.  We see the cost. What’s the return on investment?

Neta C. Crawford authored the United States Budgetary Costs of the Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2019: $5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated for the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs in November 2018.

The United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $5.9 trillion (in current dollars) on the war on terror through Fiscal Year 2019, including direct war and war-related spending and obligations for future spending on post9/11 war veterans (see Table 1). This number differs substantially from the Pentagon’s estimates of the costs of the post-9/11 wars because it includes not only war appropriations made to the Department of Defense – spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and in other places the government designates as sites of “overseas contingency operations,” – but also includes spending across the federal government that is a consequence of these wars. Specifically, this is war-related spending by the Department of State, past and obligated spending for war veterans’ care, interest on the debt incurred to pay for the wars, and the prevention of and response to terrorism by the Department of Homeland Security.

Download the pdf to read more on the full article: Crawford_Costs of War Estimates Through FY2019

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