A new report issued out of Brown University finds that U.S. spending on wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan could reach $5.6 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2018. That would mean that each American taxpayer spent $23,386 on post-9/11 wars.
The findings come from the “Costs of War” report, consisting of an international team of 35 scholars, human rights activists, physicians and legal experts research.
In a statement released by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Neta Crawford, co-director for the project and political science professor at Boston University, explains how they came up with the numbers:
The U.S. wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the increased spending on homeland security and the departments of defense, state and veterans affairs since the 9/11 attacks have cost more than $4.3 trillion in current dollars through fiscal year 2017. Adding likely costs for fiscal year 2018 and estimated future obligations for veterans’ care, the costs of war total more than $5.6 trillion.
This is in contrast to the numbers published by the US Department of Defense, which estimates that the US has spent $1.52 trillion with the average taxpayer’s individual burden to date being $7,740.
Catherine Lutz, project co-director and a professor of international studies and anthropology at Brown University, explained why this is not a complete picture of war spending:
“The American public should know what the true costs of these choices are and what lost opportunities they represent. Given that the current administration has announced more years of war in Afghanistan and elsewhere, this total will only grow.”
You can read the full report here.