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News Link • WAR: About that War

Price of U.S. wars: $4.4 trillion?

• TIM MAK , Politico

The final bill for U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan could be as much as $4.4 trillion, according to a comprehensive report Tuesday.

In the 10 years since American troops were sent into Afghanistan, the federal government has already spent $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion, say the authors of the study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

The report calculates not only direct spending on the conflicts but also the long-term costs of caring for wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012-20.

At a minimum, according to the authors of the study, the final cost for these military engagements will be $3.7 trillion. But the report also points out that their estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments and other costs that cannot yet be quantified. Indeed, the report criticized the U.S. Congress and the Pentagon for poor accounting.

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