Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan Have Cost The U.S. $6 Trillion

Linda J. Bilmes, RCD: Iraq and Afghanistan: The U.S. $6T Bill for America's Longest War Is Unpaid

On Memorial Day, we pay respects to the fallen from past wars – including the more than one million American soldiers killed in the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam.

Yet the nation’s longest and most expensive war is the one that is still going on. In addition to nearly 7,000 troops killed, the 16-year conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost an estimated US$6 trillion due to its prolonged length, rapidly increasing veterans health care and disability costs and interest on war borrowing. On this Memorial Day, we should begin to confront the staggering cost and the challenge of paying for this war.

The enormous figure reflects not just the cost of fighting – like guns, trucks and fuel – but also the long-term cost of providing medical care and disability compensation for decades beyond the end of the conflict. Consider the fact that benefits for World War I veterans didn’t peak until 1969. For World War II veterans, the peak came in 1986. Payments for Vietnam-era vets are still climbing.

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WNU Editor: Sobering numbers. You can look at the current costs of these wars here.


Steven Krische said...

Opportunity cost.

Bob Huntley said...

Addiction to war is like the father addicted to women, booze, drugs, gambling who spends all and more of the family income on his habit ignoring the pleas of his children for food, his wife for security. Such families are doomed to starvation and depredation in the decades to come and the US seems well headed in that direction.

"There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes."

Andrew Jackson said...

Plus we're losing!