Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Was It Worth It?

The original estimate for unfunded, undeclared wars was $1.3 trillion and a shredded Constitution. The estimate of the fiscal cost has risen. Writing in The Fiscal Times, Jennifer DePaul reports,

The final price tag for American military involvement in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan will cost taxpayers up to $4.4 trillion, according to a new study.

Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies found that the federal government has already spent between $2.3 and $2.6 trillion on the overseas War on Terror in the 10 years since the 9/11 terror attacks. If the wars continue, they are on track to dole out at least another $450 billion in Pentagon spending by 2020, the “Costs of War” study said. At the minimum, the total costs for American involvement could cost taxpayers $3.7 trillion.

The study’s projections do not include state and local medical costs for injured veterans, and the promised $5.3 billion reconstruction aid in Afghanistan. The estimates also do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due through 2020. The wars have been financed almost entirely by borrowing; $185 billion in interest has already been paid on war spending.
Further, DePaul writes, "at least 225,000 people, including men and women in uniform, contractors, and civilians have been killed in the wars. The number of war refugees and displaced persons are more than 7.8 million among Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis."

Andrew Sullivan reminds us of an equally disturbing fact: Bin Laden used "just a handful of men with boxcutters" to induce America to run up these costs.

No comments: