The Endless $1.6 Trillion War on Terror.

KSA

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The Endless $1.6 Trillion War on Terror

The U.S. is increasingly coming to grips with the terrible costs of the post-9/11 war on terror that has gone on for over a decade – with no end in sight.

American casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq total 6,845 men and women, according to the latest official tally, while more than a million troops were wounded in both wars. The Senate Intelligence Committee recently released a startling 528-page document that chronicled the CIA’s often brutal and secretive tactics in interrogating terrorism suspects that for many ran counter to American values.

Related: The New U.S. Price Tag for the War Against ISIS: $40 Billion a Year

Now the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has provided a new accounting of the cost of wars in the Middle East between 2001 and 2014 – interventions that have been more expensive than the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 all rolled into one – and adjusted for inflation.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The more we spend on fighting terrorism and stabilizing the Mideast, the less we invest in developing our own country and helping its people. Infrastructure, technology, education and other advances are taking a back seat to a war without end.


The government has spent $1.6 trillion on warfare since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington – a staggering sum that works out to about $337 million a day every day for the past 13 years. By contrast, the U.S. spent $341 billion of inflation-adjusted dollars waging war on North Korea between 1950 and 1953, $38 billion on the Vietnam War between 1965 and 1975, and $102 billion on the first Persian Gulf War.

This new total is about half a trillion dollars more than when the CRS last tried estimating the overall cost in 2010. The entire tab for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and related military action was placed on the government’s credit card. In other words, the money going to the war through a special “Overseas Contingency Account” was added directly to the federal debt.

“All of these figures do not take into account the long-term consequences, in terms of post-traumatic stress disorder or long-term veterans’ bills,” said Gordon Adams, a professor of international relations and military history at American University. “The costs go on. Iraq and Afghanistan will end up being the gift that keeps on giving because – as we did with Vietnam – we will be living with the consequences for many, many years.”

Related: Can the U.S. Defeat ISIS Without a War Powers Deal?

The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package passed by Congress and signed by President Obama sets aside $554 billion for defense spending through next Sept. 30, including $490 billion for running the Pentagon and buying weapons and $64 billion for the war effort. That total represents an $18 billion decrease from fiscal 2014 spending, according to the Military Times, reflecting Obama’s drawdown of troops from Afghanistan as he tries – not always successfully – to wind down that episode of the war on terrorism.

The new CRS report found that slightly more than half the $1.6 trillion in total spending went to military operations in Iraq, where allied forces toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime and then waged war for years in a desperate effort to prop up a new government. An additional $686 billion was spent on U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, which began with U.S. forces seeking to hunt down Osama bin Laden and others behind the 9/11 attacks.

The wars seem to go on forever – though overall U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq began to decline at the tail end of President George W. Bush’s second term and early on in the Obama administration. Over time, annual war costs declined from a peak of $195 billion in FY2008 to $95 billion enacted in FY2014, the CRS said.

Under the latest timetable outlined by Obama last May, the 32,000 American troops now in Afghanistan will drop to 9,800 after this year. That number would then be cut in half by the end of 2015. If all goes as planned, there would be only a small residual force to protect the embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016. At the height of American involvement, in 2011, the U.S. had 101,000 troops there.

Related: McCain Moves Center Stage on War and Foreign Policy

The withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq began in December 2007 with the end of the so-called troop surge. It was completed by December 2011, which technically brought an end to the Iraq War. The number of U.S. military forces in Iraq peaked at 170,300 in November 2007. Yet with security conditions deteriorating, U.S. forces returned last summer under a new Iraq Status of Force agreement.

With al-Qaeda and the Taliban still a deadly force in Afghanistan and ISIS claiming vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration and Congress are bracing for what may be a much longer engagement in the Middle East.

“It’s like we cannot get out of there,” said Adams, the military expert. “The entire Afghan army and police force rely on U.S. and other international dollars for their salaries. And the Iraqis are going to rely on us for aerial bombardments to deal with the ISIS crisis.”

Adams added, “This long-term crisis is in part a direct outgrowth of the U.S.’s decision particularly to take down Saddam Hussein. We’re going to live with that for God knows how many years because it created an instability in the heart of the region that is now spilling over everywhere.”

Related: The War Against ISIS Will Explode Our Nation’s Debt

Last week, a Pentagon official said that since August, the government has spent more than $1 billion on airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and parts of Syria. The administration also said it was deploying another 1,300 troops to Iraq as advisers, bringing to 3,000 the total number of U.S. advisory troops in Iraq.

Obama has vowed not to send in ground troops to try to weed out or destroy ISIS, but Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and many other leading Republicans say it will be impossible to defeat ISIS with airstrikes alone.

The question here what are the benefits The US gain from this endless war? lots of money have been throwing in and the number still on the increase.

The Endless $1.6 Trillion War on Terror - Yahoo News Canada
 

vegito12

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I think more money needs to be used to develop countries in clean food and water, housing and employment and have equal opportunity in the workforce instead of spending huge amount in war. There can be more use for the money in the countries that are struggling with economy and safe environment. The money should be used for good use, and for the benefit of the people and not something that is not going to ever end.
 

mikeqin

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This right here is an example of why the terrorists are winning the war, they will win simply by breaking the US financially. Every time we say we are going to withdraw from a country like Iraq they start fighting all over again because they want to keep us involved and keep us spending millions of dollars a day. When is the government (do we even have one anymore) going to quit being the worlds policemen, we don't need there oil anymore as we are getting more than we need
 

Kamarsun1

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I think more money needs to be used to develop countries in clean food and water, housing and employment and have equal opportunity in the workforce instead of spending huge amount in war. There can be more use for the money in the countries that are struggling with economy and safe environment. The money should be used for good use, and for the benefit of the people and not something that is not going to ever end.
I agree money needs to go where it is needed and not in the hands of a few greedy individuals. I think our focus has been shifted on purpose and mainstream media doesn't help the situation. The war on terror starts at home first and not in the middle east.
 

Dez97

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I think more money needs to be used to develop countries in clean food and water, housing and employment and have equal opportunity in the workforce instead of spending huge amount in war. There can be more use for the money in the countries that are struggling with economy and safe environment. The money should be used for good use, and for the benefit of the people and not something that is not going to ever end.
I completely agree, the amount of money that could be used to do more profitable things for the people and the economy are just being used on the war, and its simply not fair to the people at all.
 

ThatKidWithTheFace

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The "War on Terror" makes me almost as mad as the "War on Drugs", neither are true wars and neither are winnable. At this point, I'm not whether the purpose of these "wars" is to help the world, or to make the US government look better. We are getting nowhere with these idiotic crusades.

It's time for change.
 

krazyman

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I trillion dollars to fight terrorism. We have millions of children in this country that can't read and write or can't get a balanced meal placed in front of them and we spend a trillion dollars (and soon to be more) on fighting terrorists?

I have no problem fighting terrorists - but does it have to come with such a hefty price tag? Isn't there a better way to do it that we aren't spending so many resources?

It saddens to me see this amount of money spent on this when I see all the other issues that plague this country that don't get the full attention of the U.S. Government.

No Child will be Left Behind - ironic isn't it?
 

Gasoline

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What a huge cost..

But we should know that ''Building is harder than destroying "!


So ,more money and resources will be consumed in order to bring peace to people's life .


Actually, we carry 2 missions , because as you know terrorists destroy things .. so our mission is destroying them and build what they have been destroyed !~^~
 

joshua minaya

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The fact is that there are those who are profiting immensely from the war and they are the ones that are keeping this so called war alive
 

weepforsweep

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We need to give the children pamphlets to convince them not to become terrorists. In my opinion, we should just get out of there.
 

ClassyTulip

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The Endless $1.6 Trillion War on Terror

The U.S. is increasingly coming to grips with the terrible costs of the post-9/11 war on terror that has gone on for over a decade – with no end in sight.

American casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq total 6,845 men and women, according to the latest official tally, while more than a million troops were wounded in both wars. The Senate Intelligence Committee recently released a startling 528-page document that chronicled the CIA’s often brutal and secretive tactics in interrogating terrorism suspects that for many ran counter to American values.

Related: The New U.S. Price Tag for the War Against ISIS: $40 Billion a Year

Now the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has provided a new accounting of the cost of wars in the Middle East between 2001 and 2014 – interventions that have been more expensive than the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 all rolled into one – and adjusted for inflation.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The more we spend on fighting terrorism and stabilizing the Mideast, the less we invest in developing our own country and helping its people. Infrastructure, technology, education and other advances are taking a back seat to a war without end.


The government has spent $1.6 trillion on warfare since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington – a staggering sum that works out to about $337 million a day every day for the past 13 years. By contrast, the U.S. spent $341 billion of inflation-adjusted dollars waging war on North Korea between 1950 and 1953, $38 billion on the Vietnam War between 1965 and 1975, and $102 billion on the first Persian Gulf War.

This new total is about half a trillion dollars more than when the CRS last tried estimating the overall cost in 2010. The entire tab for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and related military action was placed on the government’s credit card. In other words, the money going to the war through a special “Overseas Contingency Account” was added directly to the federal debt.

“All of these figures do not take into account the long-term consequences, in terms of post-traumatic stress disorder or long-term veterans’ bills,” said Gordon Adams, a professor of international relations and military history at American University. “The costs go on. Iraq and Afghanistan will end up being the gift that keeps on giving because – as we did with Vietnam – we will be living with the consequences for many, many years.”

Related: Can the U.S. Defeat ISIS Without a War Powers Deal?

The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package passed by Congress and signed by President Obama sets aside $554 billion for defense spending through next Sept. 30, including $490 billion for running the Pentagon and buying weapons and $64 billion for the war effort. That total represents an $18 billion decrease from fiscal 2014 spending, according to the Military Times, reflecting Obama’s drawdown of troops from Afghanistan as he tries – not always successfully – to wind down that episode of the war on terrorism.

The new CRS report found that slightly more than half the $1.6 trillion in total spending went to military operations in Iraq, where allied forces toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime and then waged war for years in a desperate effort to prop up a new government. An additional $686 billion was spent on U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, which began with U.S. forces seeking to hunt down Osama bin Laden and others behind the 9/11 attacks.

The wars seem to go on forever – though overall U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq began to decline at the tail end of President George W. Bush’s second term and early on in the Obama administration. Over time, annual war costs declined from a peak of $195 billion in FY2008 to $95 billion enacted in FY2014, the CRS said.

Under the latest timetable outlined by Obama last May, the 32,000 American troops now in Afghanistan will drop to 9,800 after this year. That number would then be cut in half by the end of 2015. If all goes as planned, there would be only a small residual force to protect the embassy in Kabul by the end of 2016. At the height of American involvement, in 2011, the U.S. had 101,000 troops there.

Related: McCain Moves Center Stage on War and Foreign Policy

The withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq began in December 2007 with the end of the so-called troop surge. It was completed by December 2011, which technically brought an end to the Iraq War. The number of U.S. military forces in Iraq peaked at 170,300 in November 2007. Yet with security conditions deteriorating, U.S. forces returned last summer under a new Iraq Status of Force agreement.

With al-Qaeda and the Taliban still a deadly force in Afghanistan and ISIS claiming vast swaths of Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration and Congress are bracing for what may be a much longer engagement in the Middle East.

“It’s like we cannot get out of there,” said Adams, the military expert. “The entire Afghan army and police force rely on U.S. and other international dollars for their salaries. And the Iraqis are going to rely on us for aerial bombardments to deal with the ISIS crisis.”

Adams added, “This long-term crisis is in part a direct outgrowth of the U.S.’s decision particularly to take down Saddam Hussein. We’re going to live with that for God knows how many years because it created an instability in the heart of the region that is now spilling over everywhere.”

Related: The War Against ISIS Will Explode Our Nation’s Debt

Last week, a Pentagon official said that since August, the government has spent more than $1 billion on airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and parts of Syria. The administration also said it was deploying another 1,300 troops to Iraq as advisers, bringing to 3,000 the total number of U.S. advisory troops in Iraq.

Obama has vowed not to send in ground troops to try to weed out or destroy ISIS, but Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and many other leading Republicans say it will be impossible to defeat ISIS with airstrikes alone.

The question here what are the benefits The US gain from this endless war? lots of money have been throwing in and the number still on the increase.

The Endless $1.6 Trillion War on Terror - Yahoo News Canada
It's been thirteen years since 9/11 and $1.6 trillion is way too much to be spending for a war on terror. I understand that we have to secure our boarders and protect our citizens but when will this type of useless spending stop? We are already in a deficit that continues to grow day by day. The US government should come to terms that America is actually suffering from a lack of Knowledge. A knowledge that far exceeds the idiotic minds of Congress. That's why we have an obligation to vote for what and who we need in office and that includes spending.
 

ClassyTulip

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The fact is that there are those who are profiting immensely from the war and they are the ones that are keeping this so called war alive
We, the US citizens, are led to believe that we are faced with so much terroristic activity, that there's no other choice but to put our money on fighting and eradicating this cruelness. In fact, yes, we are faced with a lot of terror but there's no need to go broke fighting it because that will only make it more accessible for a terrorist to inflict damage on all of the US infrastructures. We have to come to terms that doing this a different way may save us time and money.
 

ClassyTulip

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What a huge cost..

But we should know that ''Building is harder than destroying "!


So ,more money and resources will be consumed in order to bring peace to people's life .


Actually, we carry 2 missions , because as you know terrorists destroy things .. so our mission is destroying them and build what they have been destroyed !~^~
Eventually, we're going to have to stop the high spending because it will be hard to rebuild something that you don't own. We don't own the amount of money that we are in deficit for so the next best thing is to start selling off property. It's like loosing your house after oweing a loan taken out on it. Those are the types of responsibilities we are faced with so we have to be more conscious of our spending habits.
 

ClassyTulip

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The "War on Terror" makes me almost as mad as the "War on Drugs", neither are true wars and neither are winnable. At this point, I'm not whether the purpose of these "wars" is to help the world, or to make the US government look better. We are getting nowhere with these idiotic crusades.

It's time for change.
I agree, the "War on Terror" and the "War on Drugs" are as waisted as they sound. There are terrorist in America who don't even know they are terrorist. How can the American government find and capture every terrorist. It doesn't make sense. The ports of America are heavily armed but not armed enough to keep drugs away from any addict. I believe that our government needs to step a step back and approach these issues differently.
 

cyberpinoy

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I think more money needs to be used to develop countries in clean food and water, housing and employment and have equal opportunity in the workforce instead of spending huge amount in war. There can be more use for the money in the countries that are struggling with economy and safe environment. The money should be used for good use, and for the benefit of the people and not something that is not going to ever end.
This is very true however the problem is the people in office making the decisions are put in that power for a reason and paid for by people who capitalize on warfare. if there is peace they have no profit. So what we have is a catch 22, if they want to stay n office they must play the game, if they dont they will either find themselves dead by an "accident" or out of a job. The amount of power the decision makers actually have is just unfathomable. That much power should never rest in one person or groups hands. The world would be a much better, safer and more peaceful place if these people were eradicated.
 
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