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Excerpt: "A new 'Costs of War' report published by Brown University's Watson Institute shows the actual costs incurred by the U.S. as part of its global 'war on terror' that widely contradicts the cost of war figures put together by the Pentagon in its report."

101st Airborne soldiers deploy in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, February 2011. (photo: US Army)
101st Airborne soldiers deploy in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, February 2011. (photo: US Army)


US Spent a Staggering $4.3 Trillion on Wars Since 9/11

By teleSUR

09 November 17


The Cost of Wars report admitted that despite including many costs, there are still some expenses incurred that haven't been included in the budget estimates.

new "Costs of War" report published by Brown University's Watson Institute shows the actual costs incurred by the U.S. as part of its global "war on terror" that widely contradicts the cost of war figures put together by the Pentagon in its report.

The report points out some of the Pentagon report's most staggering shortcomings and inadequacies in measuring the war costs incurred. Pentagon's report, titled, "Estimated Cost to Each Taxpayer for the Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria" stated the total authorized spending for wars in these conflict regions, was US$1.46 trillion, the figure accounts for only the Defense Department's spending.

Whereas the U.S. university report that included several other costs put the figure at US$4.3 trillion for the time spanning September 2001 and 2017.

"The U.S. wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the increased spending on homeland security and the departments of defense, state and veterans affairs since the 9/11 attacks have cost more than $4.3 trillion in current dollars through fiscal year 2017," the report reveals.

"Adding likely costs for fiscal year 2018 and estimated future obligations for veterans’ care, the costs of war total more than $5.6 trillion."

The US$ 5.6 trillion figure does not even include the amount U.S. spends in operations in the Horn of Africa, Uganda, Trans-Sahara, the Caribbean and Central America as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The report which is part of the "Costs of War" project, accounts for not just the Defense Department's spending but also some of the departments that are often neglected in Pentagon's war cost accounting reports, like the spendings of state departments, homeland security, veterans and the interest U.S. has paid so far on the money it has borrowed to wage wars.

Whereas the average taxpayer has spent US$23,386 on the wars since 2001 compared the US$7,740 figure as purported by the Pentagon in its report.

"The American public should know what the true costs of these choices are and what lost opportunities they represent," Catherine Lutz, project co-director and a professor of international studies and anthropology at Brown University, said.

"Given that the current administration has announced more years of war in Afghanistan and elsewhere, this total will only grow," Lutz said.

The Cost of Wars report admitted that despite including many costs, there are still some expenses incurred that haven't been included in the budget estimates.

"Although this report’s accounting is comprehensive, there are still billions of dollars not included in its estimate,” Neta Crawford, Costs of War co-director and a professor of political science at Boston University, told Brown University.

"For example, the report’s total does not include the substantial costs of war to state and local governments — most significantly, the costs of caring for veterans — or the millions of dollars in excess military equipment the U.S. donates to countries in and near the war zones," she added.

The report stressed on the opaqueness and lack of accountability in Pentagon's reports.

"The Pentagon’s areas of global war on terror operations have enlarged significantly but are not always clearly enumerated in its public summaries of their activities," Crawford said.

"Future interest costs for overseas contingency operations spending alone are projected to add more than $1 trillion to the national debt by 2023," she added.


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+12 # BetaTheta 2017-11-09 12:46
And what has that $4 trillion bought us? An even more fractured Middle East, millions displaced or killed, vastly increased terrorism, thousands of permanently wounded Americans, and another generation turned cynical about their government. Thanks a lot to Bush/Cheney/Rum sfeld, and all their cheerleaders.
 
 
+10 # John S. Browne 2017-11-09 12:56
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Of course. If you consider that the appropriations via the National "Defense" [really "Offense(ive)"] Authorization Acts every year since 9-11 average 350 BILLION per year, that comes to 5.6 TRILLION; so, this article's figure is on the low side. In fact, 5.6 trillion is on the low side, too. And that's just what we know about. Trillions of dollars have disappeared from the Pentagon, etc.; so, it's closer to 10 TRILLION dollars. And that money isn't just used for the endless war(s), it's also used to turn the U.S. "homeland" into a totalitarian militarized corporate-fasci st police state as well. Heck, besides the concentration camps the mainstream media has admitted have been built all across the U.S., they're probably building, if they haven't already built, at least one underground city for the elitist deep state shadow government oligarchy in case of the global nuclear war that these psychopaths want to carry out, starting with North Korea [the neocon-neolibs, including "T(R)ump", have admitted, and have outright called for, nuclear war]. Thus, they have no problem with spending trillions more dollars on all the "Fourth Reich" madness that they're instituting nationwide and globally.

The entire world, at the hands of the global corporate-fasci st international government, is going absolutely insane on an express train to literal hell on earth; and the true powers-that-be are now speeding up the process of "totaliterroriz ing" and "totalitarianiz ing" the planet.

#
 
 
+14 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-11-09 13:04
Gotta keep the WAR MACHINE well fed so it can continue to buy politicians who vote for war. This is truly criminal. All done so the USA (corporations) can control markets and take resources. Massive suffering around the world to feed greed.
Massive military buildup = an Empire in decline.
WAKE UP AMERICA.
 
 
+6 # kgrad 2017-11-11 09:09
[quote name="PABLO DIABLO"] [...] Massive suffering around the world to feed greed.
Massive military buildup = an Empire in decline.
WAKE UP AMERICA.

Tragedy is spreading, its scope enlarged by self-centered greedy individuals and despicable corporations, including those who benefit from the multiplication of for-profit prisons.
 
 
+3 # futhark 2017-11-11 10:29
Donald Trump's plan to balloon the American nuclear weapons arsenal is consistent with the use of "defensive" spending to make the world a more dangerous place for the benefit of those who develop and manufacture these items, using resources that ought rightfully be used to actually make the nation and planet a safer, healthier place: environmental protection, medical care for children and the elderly, development of sustainable energy resources, expanded educational opportunities, and infrastructure upgrades. We need to recognize these as national security issues and tell our representatives to quit wasting our tax money on obsolete weapons that effectively degrade our security and quality of life.
 
 
+4 # John S. Browne 2017-11-11 16:07
#

What about the disabled?! I am so sick and tired of the disabled being constantly left out as if we don't exist!! Even those who fight for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and healthcare-for- all, etc., constantly leave "we, the disable" out!! There are at least twenty-five million of us in the U.S. alone!! Does that supposedly amount to nothing?! Do we not count?! Please stop leaving us out of consideration when discussing and/or standing up for those in need of care!!

#
 
 
+5 # DongiC 2017-11-11 11:00
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. What with Trump and the MIC and 800 military bases, spread all over the world, and all kinds of domestic violence, the USA is far down the road to insanity. Too bad, it had some real good points.
 
 
+4 # Allears 2017-11-11 14:03
BetaTheta asks what has the 4 trillion bought us?-let's also ask what in dollar amounts has the 4 trillion taxpayer 'investment' bought those industries, and ultimately, those individuals, for which it was 'invested'?Enou gh, I guess, for those profiteers to want to keep feeding their unending unsatisfiable appetite.
 
 
+2 # Adoregon 2017-11-11 22:56
The 9/11 scam has had its intended effects:
*the gullible were stampeded and fell for the party line,
*warfare transfers trillions of taxpayer dollars to the military-indust rial complex and thence into the pockets of the oligarchy,
*the area called the "middle East" has been thrown into increased turmoil and instability to the ultimate benefit of the corporations who control the government of the United States of Fraud. Look at a map of the area.

The trillions being spent probably haven't done much for you or anyone you know, but who are you? You're not one of the corporate/gover nment elite. For the elite, life is sweet.

The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes. -- Stanley Kubrick
 
 
-1 # dusty 2017-11-12 13:26
The Bill Clinton and HRC and their toadies. and Barack Obama also belong in the list of those who have betrayed the people of the nation in order to pursue US hegemony. Every "great empire" or attempted empire has found that sooner or later militarism destroyed the state that practiced hegemony: the Romans, the Ottoman empire, the greater China, and the German Nazi Japan, and Italian fascist attempt at empire, to name just a few. The cost of conquering and control is enormous and with falling incomes in the US, precariat employment, and unmet social needs the time grows shorter when we will either move to an authoritarian state or chaos or both.
 

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