The situations in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a back seat to the search for a plane……a debate on birth certificates and a wealth of spurious conspiracies……but since today is my day to post on war….I will delve into those two wars that people forget…….
Does anyone know what the final cost of the two will be?
The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project “Costs of War” by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. (www.costsofwar.org)
In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.
Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due and many billions more in expenses that cannot be counted, according to the study.
In human terms, 224,000 to 258,000 people have died directly from warfare, including 125,000 civilians in Iraq. Many more have died indirectly, from the loss of clean drinking water, healthcare, and nutrition. An additional 365,000 have been wounded and 7.8 million people — equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky — have been displaced.
$3.7 trillion? That amount could have gone a long way to solve the $5.1 trillion that Ryan wants to carve out of domestic programs…….don’t you think?
But beyond that there are other costs of war…….
The 2.6 million Americans who volunteered to fight on IED-laden battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan have returned home with a panoply of problems borne out of their service. Consider the following from a newly released Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey:
- 18 percent were seriously injured while performing their duties.
- 34 percent say they have a service-connected disability.
- 52 percent say their physical or mental health is worse than it was before the wars.
- 41 percent report experiencing outbursts of anger, at least sometimes.
- 51 percent know a service member who has attempted or committed suicide.
More from the Post-Kaiser survey:
My point is….war is far more expensive than what most people think……who will pay the tab?