[News] US Spends $250 Million per Day for the War on Terror

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 1 12:06:37 EDT 2017


  US Spends $250 Million per Day for the War on Terror

1 November 2017

According to a newly published United States Department of Defense (DoD) 
“cost of war” report, U.S. taxpayers have shelled out  $1.46 trillion 
for war since September 11, 2001, when the War on Terror began.

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This amounts to around $250 million per day.

The report was  published by the Federation of American Scientists 
Secrecy News blog and covers the period of September 11, 2001 to mid-2017.

As the report notes, nearly $1.3 trillion of the total cost spent on the 
Iraq and Afghanistan wars alone. On top of this, continuing operations 
in Afghanistan and the U.S.-led air campaign in Iraq and Syria has 
totalled $120 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump promised to rebuild America’s military which 
he sees as less extravagant than it ever has been.

"Our active-duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to 
about 1.3 million today," he said in a speech. "The Navy has shrunk from 
over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air 
Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in 
combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody 
in this room."

Part of Trump’s plan to ‘rebuild’ the U.S.’ military is to make sure 
that the military is "funded beautifully."

The Trump administration has proposed a $603 billion defense budget, 
which well exceeds the cap of $549 billion, and  would require the U.S. 
Congress to make spending cuts in other areas.

In July, the House of Representatives approved $696.5 billion in defense 
spending, which includes a base budget of $621.5 billion and $75 billion 
in ‘Overseas Contingency Operations dollars’, commonly referred to as 
‘war money’. Conversely, the Senate passed a $640 billion base defense 
budget with a $60 billion allocation for war money. Both versions of the 
budget well exceed the Trump administration’s proposal, making this 
defense budget, by far, the largest defense budget in U.S. history.

While the U.S.’ current and proposed military spending is massive, the 
DoD’s “cost of war” report did not take into account other collateral 
costs of war, including veteran’s benefits and other related costs.

International Business Times notes that: “The report’s costs include 
only direct war-related expenses such as operating and maintaining 
bases, procuring equipment, and paying for and feeding troops.” The 
report does not include intelligence spending on the War on Terror, nor 
does it include veteran’s benefits.

Harvard Kennedy School professor Linda Bilmes estimated in 2011 that the 
cost of veteran’s benefits would range between $600 billion - $1 
trillion. However, since Bilmes’ study, the number of veterans receiving 
benefits has skyrocketed. Current estimates project the figure to be 
$674 billion over the next 40 years.

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The U.S. intelligence apparatus also operates under a $52.6 billion 
annual operating budget, which includes 16 agencies, with the Central 
Intelligence Agency (CIA) soaking up the lion’s share of $14.7 billion, 
according to leaks that were revealed by Edward Snowden. The CIA spent 
$1 billion alone annually training and arming military opposition 
factions in Syria.

The report also does not take into account the large military-contractor 
economy that has surged around the War on Terror, which is currently 
valued at around  $674.4 billion.

The War on Terror is the second most expensive war in U.S. history, 
trailing well behind (but perhaps not for long) World War II, which 
costed an estimated $4.1 trillion in today’s dollars. For comparison, 
the long and drawn out Vietnam War costed around $770 billion, with an 
additional $250 billion if veteran’s benefits are taken into account.

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