The United States is on track to have spent nearly $6 trillion on war since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a report released Wednesday.
The annual analysis from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University far exceeds Pentagon estimates because it looks at all war-related costs — including the Pentagon’s war fund, related spending at the State Department, veterans care and interest payments — for military operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“We were told to expect wars that would be quick, cheap, effective and beneficial to the U.S. interest,” study author Neta Crawford said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Because we finance these wars on a credit card, the costs of the wars themselves pose a national security challenge.”
The study estimates that war-related spending through fiscal 2019 will total $4.9 trillion. Another projected $1 trillion for veterans care through fiscal 2059 brings the total to $5.9 trillion, according to the study.
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