Costs of War project reports on U.S. military impact

Spending on wars and the Department of Homeland Security has reached more than $3.6 trillion.
Spending on wars and the Department of Homeland Security has reached more than $3.6 trillion. | File photo
The Costs of War project, based in Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, recently released a report showing that spending on wars and the Department of Homeland Security has reached more than $3.6 trillion.
 
“This is the most comprehensive analysis of the budgetary costs available, produced as part of the Costs of War Project, a large research team assessment of the wider, and also staggering, human and social impact of the wars,” Costs of War co-director Catherine Lutz, a Brown professor of anthropology, said.
 
In addition to the current costs, which increases to $4.79 trillion when considering the coming fiscal year, the figure balloons to a potential $7.9 trillion when interest figures are added in. The study, titled “U.S. Budgetary Costs of Wars through 2016: $4.79 Trillion and Counting,” suggests that overseas contingency operations spending will contribute more than $1 trillion to the national debt in 2023.
 
“One of the major lessons of the post-9/11 wars, which applies to all wars, is to beware of promises of quick military victories and inexpensive occupations — wars generally cost a lot of money from start to finish and ultimately to their long aftermath in the lives of veterans and their families,” Costs of War co-director Neta Crawford, from Boston University, said.

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