Since terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and killed thousands upon thousands of innocent American citizens, U.S. taxpayers have spent $6.4 trillion on wars and military action in the Middle East and Asia, according to a new report by the Watson Institute at Brown University.
“Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars — an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum of $1 Trillion for US obligations to care for the veterans of these wars through the next several decades,” the report reads.
The $6.4 trillion figure is $2 trillion more than all federal government spending during the 2019 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30 with $4.4 trillion spent, according to the Treasury Department.
The study also shows that as a result of the fighting, 801,000 people have died, including 335,000 civilians, and another 21 million people have been displaced to get away from the violence.
The report notes that after 9/11, wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria have grown to include more than 80 countries, making it “a truly global war on terror.”
And the longer the war on terror drags on, the more service members will lose their lives while others will ultimately claim benefits and disability payments.
“Even if the United States withdraws completely from the major war zones by the end of FY2020 and halts its other Global War on Terror operations, in the Philippines and Africa for example, the total budgetary burden of the post-9/11 wars will continue to rise as the U.S. pays the on-going costs of veterans’ care and for interest on borrowing to pay for the wars,” the study notes.
The Pentagon said in March that wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost each U.S. taxpayer $7,623 through fiscal 2018.
Click here to read the report in full.