Washington’s 20 Years of Wars on Terror Cost $8 Trillion and 929,000 Lives, New Study Says


A new comprehensive study has shed light on the multi-trillion cost of the US’ post-9/11 wars, which have been funded via soaring American debt. The researchers say that no single US government has yet presented the true picture of the toll the wars have taken on the United States.

On 1 September, Brown University’s Costs of War Project released a report saying that the total budgetary costs and future obligations of the US post-9/11 wars are “about $8 trillion in current dollars”. This figure includes more than $2.1 trillion spent by the Pentagon, $1 trillion in interest payments, and $2.2 trillion on future health care obligations through 2050. The report also found that about 929,000 people had been killed in the US wars on terror.

The report highlights that instead of a comprehensive picture, different government agencies used to provide partial estimates of what has been spent over the years.

​For instance, the Department of Defence has been required to release estimated costs of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to each taxpayer since FY2017. In March 2021, the Pentagon stated that emergency/overseas contingency operations (OCO) in the aforementioned states cost a total of $1.596 trillion or $8,094 per each American taxpayer through FY2020. However, the DoD admitted that “these amounts exclude non-Department of Defence classified programmes.”

​Likewise, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction August 2021

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