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Follow the Money: The Cost of the War on Terror


Broken down individually, the government has spent $806 billion for Iraq, $444 billion for Afghanistan, $29 billion for enhanced security and $6 billion on “unallocated” items. The vast majority of all the money appropriated has gone to the Department of Defense. … Only $8 billion (or 1 percent) went to veterans’ care, via the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Joe Stiglitz puts the wars at $3 trillion and counting. But the big things that are missing here is the cost of the 2001 recession, which was exacerbated by 9/11 (particularly the airline bailout of $15 billion), and the cost of the oil shocks that periodically occurred as a result of instability in the region where we embarked on two occupations. Then, of course, you have to factor in covert operations, aid to Pakistan, and maybe a dozen other intelligence and counter-terrorism-related costs. And there’s homeland security, a brand-new series of costs that didn’t exist before 9-11.

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