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Author: TriSec    Date: 01/07/2020 10:51:26

Good Morning.

We find ourselves poised on the edge of war yet again. Although not by date, by calendar we've been at this for a whopping 20 years now, with no end in sight.

Longtime features of this blog have included a running casualty count, as well as a weekly look at the "Cost of War". It's worth taking a look back to see what we've lost.

WASHINGTON — The price for America’s longest wars has surpassed more than $5.9 trillion and at least 480,000 lost lives, according to a new study released by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

The figures highlight the toll of U.S. war operations around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the study projects the numbers could rise.

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” said Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who helped introduce the report Wednesday at a meeting on Capitol Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

The study’s death estimates include nearly 7,000 U.S. servicemembers, nearly 8,000 U.S. contractors, more than 100,0000 military and police members from other countries, more than 244,000 civilians and more than 100,000 opposition fighters.

The $5.9 trillion U.S. cost includes Pentagon spending through fiscal year 2019, such as direct and indirect spending as well as future war-related costs for post-9/11 war veterans. It represents U.S. spending in the war zones of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other locations designated as “overseas contingency operations.”

It also includes war-related spending by other agencies, such as the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, costs of veterans care as well as debt used to pay for the wars.

“Veterans benefits and disability spending, and the cost of interest on borrowing to pay for the wars, will comprise an increasingly large share of the costs,” said Neta Crawford, a political science professor at the institute, who authored the study.

We can make all the comparisons we want, but a couple seem to be rather visceral.

5.9 trillion is a lot of money. An aircraft carrier only costs 12.9 billion. The US Government once spent 24 billion to bury an interstate highway beneath the streets of Boston. According to one source, all student debt in the US totals about 1.6 billion.

According to NPR, Senator Warren's Medicare For All might cost 20.5 trillion over ten years (vs. 52 trillion under the Affordable Care Act).

But the true cost of war isn't measured in dollars. It's been a long time since we posted the casualty rolls from our friends at Antiwar.com - are we ready to go back to this again?

American Deaths
Since war began 4497
Since "Mission Accomplished" 4351
Since Handover 3631
Since Obama Inauguration: 260
Since Operation New Dawn: 66

Total Wounded: 32021

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq 321
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan 2382
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan 1127
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq 1,487
Journalists - Iraq 348
Academics Killed - Iraq 448


3 comments (Latest Comment: 01/07/2020 15:40:49 by BobR)
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