Smedley Butler, "'War is a
VIDEO: John Pilger, "Paying
The Price: Killing The Children Of Iraq," ITV, March 6, 2000
[To measure actual spending by the United States on defense, take the
federal budget number for the Pentagon and double it.--David R. Francis,
defense costs add up to double trouble," Christian Science Monitor,
February 23, 2004]
"War Has Cost 655,000 Iraqi
Lives," The Wisdom Fund, July 9, 2003
Chalmers Johnson, "America's Empire
of Bases," Nation Institute, January 15, 2004
Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters, "Greenspan
admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m," Guardian,
September 16, 2007
[So we are speaking of some 1.2 million people who have been killed in this
way, and that does not count the numbers that were killed during the
invasion itself for the crime of having attempted to oppose invading foreign
troops, or the 500,000 children and old people killed by the US-UN
anti-civilian sanctions in the 10 previous years.
It was the US that turned this country into a killing field. Why won't we
face this? Why won't we take responsibility? The reason has to do with this
mysterious thing called nationalism, which makes an ideological religion of
the nation's wars. We are god-like liberators. They are devil-like
terrorists. No amount of data or contrary information seems to make a dent
in this irreligious faith.--Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., "None
Dare Call It Genocide," lewrockwell.com, September 18, 2007]
Editorial: "Civil liberties under threat: The real price of freedom,"
Economist, September 20, 2007
[The money spent on one day of the Iraq war could buy homes for almost 6,500
families or health care for 423,529 children, or could outfit 1.27 million
homes with renewable electricity, according to the American Friends Service
Committee, which displayed those statistics on large banners in cities
nationwide Thursday and Friday.
The war is costing $720 million a day or $500,000 a minute, according to the
group's analysis of the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E.
Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda J. Bilmes.--Kari
Lydersen, "War Costing $720 Million Each Day, Group
Says," Washington Post, September 22, 2007]
[The administration showed its cards on Wednesday when it asked Congress for
an additional $42.3 billion in "emergency" funding for Iraq and Afghanistan.
This comes on top of the original 2008 spending request, which was made
before Mr. Bush announced his so-called "new strategy" of partial
withdrawal. It would bring the 2008 war bill to nearly $190 billion, the
largest single-year total for the wars and an increase of 15 percent from
And here are a few more facts to put the voracious war machine in context:
By year's end, the cost for both conflicts since Sept. 11, 2001, is
projected to reach more than $800 billion. Iraq alone has cost the United
States more in inflation-adjusted dollars than the Gulf War and the Korean
War and will probably surpass the Vietnam War by the end of next year,
according to the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary
(Spending) Train," New York Times, September 28, 2007]
Jeff Donn and Kimberly Hefling, "Wounded vets from Iraq, and families, now
suffer economically; 185,000 seek help so far," Associated Press,
September 29, 2007
[The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost as much as $2.4 trillion
through the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said
Wednesday. The White House brushed off the analysis as "speculation."--Anne
Flaherty, "Wars May Cost $2.4 Trillion Over Decade,"
Associated Press, October 24, 2007]
[What would this money have bought if we had spent it on other things? U.S.
aid to all of Africa has been hovering around $5 billion a year, the
equivalent of less than two weeks of direct Iraq-war expenditures. The
president made a big deal out of the financial problems facing Social
Security, but the system could have been repaired for a century with what we
have bled into the sands of Iraq. Had even a fraction of that $2 trillion
been spent on investments in education and technology, or improving our
infrastructure, the country would be in a far better position economically
to meet the challenges it faces in the future, including threats from
abroad. For a sliver of that $2 trillion we could have provided guaranteed
access to higher education for all qualified Americans. . . .
Some portion of the damage done by the Bush administration could be
rectified quickly. A large portion will take decades to fix - and that's
assuming the political will to do so exists both in the White House and in
Congress. Think of the interest we are paying, year after year, on the
almost $4 trillion of increased debt burden - even at 5 percent, that's an
annual payment of $200 billion, two Iraq wars a year forever. Think of the
taxes that future governments will have to levy to repay even a fraction of
the debt we have accumulated. And think of the widening divide between rich
and poor in America, a phenomenon that goes beyond economics and speaks to
the very future of the American Dream.--Joseph E. Stiglitz, "The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush," Vanity Fair, December,
William E. Odom, "The war and the recession: a
connection?," Nieman Watchdog, February 14, 2008
Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, "The three trillion dollar war," Times, February 23, 2008
VIDEO: "The Three Trillion Dollar War,"
democracynow.org, February 29, 2008
Erik Leaver and Jenny Shin, "The
Mounting Costs of the Iraq War," Foreign Policy in Focus, March 4, 2008
Larry Elliott, "America was conned - who will pay," Guardian, March 17 2008
[ . . . a $4 or $5 trillion tag would be more reasonable.--Joseph Stiglitz and
Linda Bilmes, "$3 trillion may be too
low," Guardian, April 6, 2008]
Pauline Jelinek, "300,000
US veterans have mental problem, 320,000 had brain injuries,"
Associated Press, April 17, 2008
[The number that the House sent to the Senate for "defense" - $612 billion
for the coming year - is eye-popping. . . .
That number's a sham, however. The budget calls for $68.6 billion for the
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009. War costs this year totaled
$182 billion, according to the Federation of American Scientists. . . .
Throw in a bit more than $50 billion for Homeland Security, around $20
billion for the nuclear arsenal in the Department of Energy's budget, about
$10 billion for the Coast Guard, a similar number for foreign "security
assistance" and maybe another $125 billion - according to one estimate - in
other defense-related programs scattered throughout the federal budget.
Of course, very little of this is "defense." This is empire spending, pure
and simple--Joshua Holland, "With All Eyes on the
Bailout, House Passes Trillion-Dollar Defense Bill," AlterNet,
September 26, 2008]
[The U.S. Empire of Bases - at $102 billion a year already the world's
costliest military enterprise - just got a good deal more expensive. As a
start, on May 27th, we learned that the State Department will build a new
"embassy" in Islamabad, Pakistan, which at $736 million will be the second
priciest ever constructed, only $4 million less, if cost overruns don't
occur, than the Vatican-City-sized one the Bush administration put up in
Baghdad.--Chalmers Johnson, "How to Deal with America's
Empire of Bases," tomdispatch.com, July 2, 2009]
[ . . . the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per
soldier a year, appears almost constant.--Christopher Drew, "High Costs Weigh on Troop Debate for Afghan War,"
New York Times, November 15, 2009]
Dave Lindorff, "More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the
Military," opednews.com, April 13, 2010
[Adding this interest component to the previous all-agency total, the grand
total comes to $1,027.8 billion, which is 61.5 percent greater than the
Pentagon's outlays alone.--Robert Higgs, "Defense Spending Is Much
Greater than You Think," Independent, April 17, 2010]
[Obama has asked for $33 billion more to help fund 30,000 extra U.S.
soldiers being sent to Afghanistan this year. . . . Congress has approved
$345 billion so far for the war in Afghanistan--"Factbox: A
look at costs of Afghan war to U.S. taxpayers," Reuters, May 10,
[In 2008, the most recent year for which figures are available, the U.S.
expenditure was 696.3 billion dollars, followed by Russia's 86 billion and
China's 83.5 billion.
The U.S. defense budget is 15 times that of Japan, 47 times that of Israel,
and nearly 73 times that of Iran.--Amanda Bransford, "US Military Spending Far
Outpaces Rest of the World," Reuters, May 29, 2010]
Matthew Nasuti, "American Military Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan Now Exceed
500,000: Pentagon Fudges the Numbers to Placate Public,"
kabulpress.org, June 18, 2010
["Figuring in macro economic costs and interest - the [Iraq] war has been
funded with much borrowed money - the cost rises to $4.5 trillion; add
Afghanistan, and the bill tops $7 trillion." . . .
Unfortunately, the authors and reviewers have left out the most damaging
cost of all: that wars are used to maintain the oppression of the state
against the people.--Bob Adelmann, "The Real Costs of the Wars,"
thenewamerican.com, October 1, 2010]
Kimberly Dozier, "Total US intelligence bill tops $80 billion," AP
News, October 28, 2010
Winslow T. Wheeler, "The Defense
Budget and the Deficit: How the Various Plans Compare,"
counterpunch.org, November 26, 2010
[The Pentagon's budget has more than doubled in the past decade, to some
$700 billion per year. All told, the ostensible imperatives of national
security thereby consume roughly half of all federal discretionary dollars.
Even more astonishing, annual U.S. military outlays now approximate those of
all other nations, friends as well as foes, combined.--Andrew J. Bacevich,
"The Tyranny of Defense Inc," theatlantic.com,
[The military budget doubled from 1998 to 2008 in the biggest explosion of
military spending since the early 1950s - and now accounts for 56 percent of
discretionary federal spending.--Gareth Porter, "50 Years After
Ike's Speech: From Military-Industrial Complex to Permanent War
State," counterpunch.org, January 18, 2011]
[ . . . total defense spending in 2012 will be in the neighborhood of $700
billion--Lawrence Korb and Laura Conley, "Obama's Pentagon cuts not
what they seem," cnn.com, February 11, 2011]
[The U.S. government spent $2 trillion combating bin Laden over the past decade, more than 20
percent of the nation's $9.68 trillion public debt.--David J. Lynch, "Bin Ladens Death Won't End His Toll on American
Taxpayers, Poll Shows," bloomberg.com, May 12, 2011]
[The deepest, ugliest problem is not the amount of American wealth that
defense/security gulps down its maws every year. It is that nobody - the
Pentagon included - has the foggiest idea where the money goes.--Peter Casey,
"Where Have All the Missiles Gone?," antiwar.com,
June 1, 2011]
[According to the Pentagon, there are approximately 865 US military bases
abroad - over 1,000 if new bases in Iraq and Afghanistan are included. The
cost? $102 billion annually - and that doesn't include the costs of the
Iraq and Afghanistan bases.--Katrina vanden Heuvel, "Around the Globe, US Military Bases
Generate Resentment, Not Security," thenation.com, June 13, 2011]
[That is the conclusion of a study released by the Eisenhower Research
Project, a group of scholars, diplomats and other experts based at Brown
University's Watson Institute for International Studies.--Joe Conason, "$4 Trillion for War - and Counting,"
thenation.com, July 1, 2011]
[Over the past decade, when we had no serious national adversaries, U.S.
defense spending has gone from about a third of total worldwide defense
spending to 50 percent.--Fareed Zakaria, "Why defense spending should be
cut," washingtonpost.com, August 3, 2011]
["Costs of War" cites a Rand study of 268 terrorist groups, 1968 to 2006. In
83 percent of cases, Lutz said, resolution was reached through political
accommodation, intelligence and policing. Military might succeeded in 7
percent of cases.--Bryan Rourke, "Brown University study examines cost of War on Terror,"
projo.com, October 7, 2011]
David Vine, "Picking
up a $170 billion tab," atimes.com, December 13, 2012
Matthew Yglesias, "There's Always Money in the Defense Budget," slate.com, January
John Basil Utley, "16 Ways to Cut Defense Spending,"
theamericanconservative.com, February 22, 2013
Winslow T Wheeler, "America's $1 Trillion National Security Budget,"
counterpunch.org, March 14, 2014