Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Costs of War

What Has Not Been Counted

We did not assess all the effects of these wars.

We did not include in our budget tallies:

  • Some expenses related to veterans, including, for example, total benefits to veterans from state and local governments;

  • State and municipal homeland security costs;

  • Costs of the wars to allies of the United States, including costs to the governments and economies of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; and

  • Budgetary and economic effects of the wars on the regional neighbors of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, including costs of caring for war refugees, for example.

We did not systematically estimate the:

  • Effects on natural disaster preparedness of having US National Guard troops and equipment abroad;

  • Number of contractors employed by US allies who were killed or wounded;

  • Number of opposition forces killed; and 

  • Resources devoted by the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations, and other nations to ameliorate war related suffering in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

(Page updated as of January 2015)