Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Cost of America's Wars

At Tom Englehardt has published a posting on the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's bit from the preface to the article:
If you’re an average American taxpayer, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have, since 2001, cost you personally $7,334, according to the “cost of war” counter created by the National Priorities Project (NPP). They have cost all Americans collectively more than $980,000,000,000. As a country, we’ll pass the trillion dollar mark soon. These are staggering figures and, despite the $72.3 billion that Congress has already ponied up for the Afghan War in 2010 ($136.8 billion if you add in Iraq), the administration is about to go back to Congress for more than $35 billion in outside-the-budget supplemental funds to cover the president’s military and civilian Afghan surges. When that passes, as it surely will, the cumulative cost of the Afghan War alone will hit $300 billion, and we’ll be heading for two trillion-dollar wars.

In the meantime, just so you know, that $300 billion, according to the NPP, could have paid for healthcare for 131,780,734 American children for a year, or for 53,872,201 students to receive Pell Grants of $5,550, or for the salaries and benefits of 4,911,552 elementary school teachers for that same year.
That's an incredible amount of money to buy very, very little. Iraq is still in a mess and is slowly becoming a puppet state of Iran. And Afghanistan is quickly become a narco-state with the current unpopular and corrupt leader, Hamid Karzi, talking of a power sharing arrangement with the Taliban. That's what $1 trillion will buy you these days.

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