Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Costs of War

What Has Not Been Counted

The post-9/11 wars have had many budgetary consequences that the Costs of War project has not yet fully assessed.

Budget estimates do not include:

  • The opportunity costs of the U.S. choice to pay for war rather than other social investments, like public health.
  • 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 post-9/11 wars 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 for example the costs of caring for war refugees.

(Page updated as of June 2021)