Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Research Cites 225,000 Lives Lost and US$4 Trillion in Spending on Post-9/11 Wars

June 28, 2011

Nearly 10 years after the declaration of the War on Terror, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have killed at least 225,000 people, including men and women in uniform, contractors, and civilians. The wars will cost Americans between $3.2 and $4 trillion, including medical care and disability for current and future war veterans, according to a new report by the Eisenhower Research Project at the Watson Institute. If these wars continue, they are on track to require at least another $450 billion in Pentagon spending by 2020.

The Costs of War report by this major multi-university research project reveals costs that are far higher than recognized. Its findings are being released at a critical juncture. As Project Co-Director and Institute Professor Catherine Lutz puts it: “Knowing the actual costs of war is essential as the public, Congress, and the President consider the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and other issues including the deficit, security, public investments, and reconstruction.”

The project has posted its extensive findings, graphically illustrated, at costsofwar.org, to spur public debate about America at war.

The Costs of War report, compiled by more than 20 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists, is the first comprehensive analysis of this decade of war and its costs – human and economic, direct and indirect, U.S. and international, and often uncounted or undercounted.