Ignoring the tremendous cost in human suffering, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has cost the United States over 5.9 trillion dollars. The Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs published their findings in 2018 the number has spiraled up.
At its height, including not just the Pentagon’s war fund, but also future obligations such as social services for an ever-growing number of post-9/11 veterans, the war cost $32 million per hour. That means every American taxpayer has paid $24,000 on wars.
It gets worse when you factor in the cost in human suffering. As of 2015, when the Costs of War project made its latest tallies, up to 165,000 Iraqi civilians had died as a direct consequence of U.S. war, plus around 8,000 U.S. soldiers and military contractors in Iraq.
In addition to those direct deaths, at least four times as many people in Iraq have died from the side effects of war, such as malnutrition, environmental degradation, and deteriorated infrastructure.
Since the 2003 invasion, for instance, Iraqi health care has plummeted — with hospitals and clinics bombed, supplies of medicine and electricity jeopardized, and thousands of physicians and healthcare workers fleeing the country.