The United States wars have cost $5.6 trillion since 2001: Study

November 9, 2017 1:59 am
Afghan forces and soldiers investigate the site of a car bomb attack that targeted a NATO coalition convoy in Kabul on September 24, 2017. (AFP photo)
has spent more than $5.6 trillion on foreign conflicts since 2001, more than three times the Pentagon has claimed in official estimates, according to a new study.
The US Defense Department reported earlier this year that it had spent around $1.5 trillion on wars launched after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
But a study by the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University puts the total cost of foreign wars at $5.6 trillion, or $23,000 per taxpayer.
The study examines not only the money spent by the US , but also by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, for resources dedicated to the so-called “war on terrorism.”
Combat operations since 2001 “have been largely paid for by borrowing, part of the reason the US went from budget surplus to deficits after 2001,” study author Neta Crawford said.
As for the costs of specific conflicts, the study notes that the “two largest categories of expenses have been for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Harvard researchers said in 2013 that the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by years of fighting.
The US war in Afghanistan has endured for 16 years and is set to persist after President Donald Trump announced in September that he would expand American military presence in the war-torn country.
The US withdrew from Iraq in 2011 after nearly a decade of occupation but has continued a mission to “support and advise” Iraqi forces in the fight against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.
Former US president George W. Bush, who was in the White House between 2001 and 2009, has been accused of war crimes for ordering the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan under false pretexts.
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