By Jack Moore
11/8/17
Newsweek

The United States military has spent more than $5.6 trillion on conflicts since 2001, more than three times the Pentagon’s actual estimate, according to a new study.

The Department of Defense reported earlier this year that it had spent around $1.5 trillion on conflicts, including putting putting troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, air raids in Syria and Iraq to battle the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and a drone campaign and raids against extremists in Pakistan.

But that figure appears to underplay the real cost of war for the American taxpayer, at least according to the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University. It puts the total cost at $5.6 billion, or $23,000 per taxpayer.

The Pentagon’s initial estimate put the taxpayer cost at $7,740 per person for the conflicts since the Al-Qaeda-hatched 9/11 attacks in New York that killed almost 3,000 people.

“War costs are more than what we spend in any one year on what’s called the pointy end of the spear,” the study’s author, Neta Crawford, told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported its findings.

“There are all these other costs behind the spear, and there are consequences of using it, that we need to include.”


A picture taken on July 9 shows smoke billowing following an airstrike by the U.S.-led international coalition forces targeting the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Mosul, Iraq. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty

Read more