$5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated on Post-9/11 Wars
Brown University Costs of War Project
Nov. 14, 2018
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States government has spent and obligated more than $5.9 trillion on wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other places around the world, according to the Costs of War Project.

Written by Boston University Professor of Political Science, Neta Crawford, the report summarizes the direct war costs—all Department of Defense Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding and State Department war expenditures—war-related costs including increases in military spending, care for veterans, Department of Homeland Security spending, and interest payments on borrowing for these wars.

The estimate for total U.S. war-related spending through FY2019 is $4.9 trillion.

Additionally, because the U.S. is contractually and morally obligated to pay for health care for post-9/11 veterans through their lifetimes, it is imperative to estimate costs for veterans for the next several decades at $1 trillion, bringing the total expenditures to $5.9 trillion.

“This Report goes beyond the Pentagon’s numbers because war costs are more than what we spend in any one year on what’s called the ‘tip of the spear.’ There are many other cost categories behind the spear that need to be included in the overall calculation,” said Crawford.

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