Price tag of the “war on terror”: $4.4 trillion

Playing the part of world policeman can be pretty expensive. How expensive? A new study says that the price of our foreign intervention could reach over $4 trillion and cost 225,000 lives; including civilians:

The final bill for U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan could be as much as $4.4 trillion, according to a comprehensive report Tuesday.

In the 10 years since American troops were sent into Afghanistan, the federal government has already spent $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion, say the authors of the study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

The report calculates not only direct spending on the conflicts but also the long-term costs of caring for wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012-20.

At a minimum, according to the authors of the study, the final cost for these military engagements will be $3.7 trillion. But the report also points out that their estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments and other costs that cannot yet be quantified. Indeed, the report criticized the U.S. Congress and the Pentagon for poor accounting.

You can read more about the study here.

While Republicans are debating foreign policy, they’re largely missing the point. The Bush Doctrine, which has now become the Obama Doctrine, is unsustainable from an economic perspective (not to mention the human toll). This seems to be a point lost on neoconservatives, that taxpayers eventually have to foot the bill for war. That’s not to say there isn’t justification, but most of what we’ve done in the last 10 years has been unnecessary; and sadly, it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.