The real budget-buster: The United States has spent an estimated $6 trillion on war since 2001

Nov 9, 2017 by

TO GO WITH AFGHANISTAN-US-ARMY-CONFLICT-FOCUS BY GUILLAUME DECAMME.In this photograph taken on August 13, 2015, US army soldiers walk as a NATO helicopter flies overhead at coalition force Forward Operating Base (FOB) Connelly in the Khogyani district in the eastern province of Nangarhar. From his watchtower in insurgency-wracked eastern Afghanistan, US army Specialist Josh Whitten doesn't have much to say about his Afghan colleagues. "They don't come up here anymore, because they used to mess around with our stuff. "Welcome to Forward Operating Base Connelly, where US troops are providing training and tactical advice to the 201st Afghan army corps as they take on the Taliban on the battlefield. AFP PHOTO / Wakil Kohsar (Photo credit should read WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

These men and women need care when they come home and that should be factored in the true cost of war.

Republicans want to debate and slash every single penny that goes to help the poor, the elderly, the sick and our children’s education, but why can’t we have a grown-up, legitimate discussion about the cost of war and the drain on our collective coffers? You never hear a peep when it comes to the budge-busting cost of war. According a report in the Military Times, the United States has spent a jaw-dropping $6 trillion since 2001:

Overseas combat operations since 2001 have cost the United States an estimated $4.3 trillion so far, and trillions more in veterans benefits spending in years to come, according to the latest analysis from the Costs of War project.

The annual analysis from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs shows a steadily growing tally for the 16 years of wars overseas. Study author Neta Crawford said the goal of the ongoing project is to better illustrate the true costs of overseas military operations.

All told, the cost of the military operations and veteran’s care since 2001 come to an astonishing $6 trillion. The U.S. military doesn’t even factor in many of the true costs of war when they present their estimates, but this study did:

“Every war costs money before, during and after it occurs — as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from armed conflict by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing infrastructure destroyed in the fighting,” she wrote in the 2017 report.

Of the total, only about $1.9 trillion has been reported by defense officials as official overseas contingency operations funding.

There is no doubt we want to maintain our national safety and security, but at what point do we address the blank check and the endless war? It’s amazing this is a topic that is off-limits to the so-called fiscally responsible Republicans who drone on endlessly about balancing the budget.

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