War Costs Up to $4 Trillion Report Says

Jun 30, 2011, 09:25 by R.E. Christian

The decade-old wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan will cost Americans as much as $4 trillion, says a Brown University study.

The study by the Eisenhower Research Project at the university's Watson Institute says the wars have also killed at least 225,000 people "including men and women in uniform, contractors and civilians."

"The wars will cost Americans between $3.2- and $4 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans," the study said.

"If these wars continue, they are on track to require at least another $450 billion in Pentagon spending by 2020."

The report, compiled by more than 20 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel and political scientists, said the findings reveal the costs are far higher than recognized.

"Knowing the actual costs of war is essential as the public, Congress, and the president consider the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and other issues including the deficit, security, public investments and reconstruction," said Professor Catherine Lutz, the project's co-director.

An institute news release said the wars have been "tremendously painful" for millions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the United States, and that every month or year they continue would add to the toll.

While more than 6,000 U.S. soldiers have died in these wars, "what is startling is what we don't know about the levels of injury and illness in those who have returned from the wars," the news release said.

Source: UPI