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Report: Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Cost US Nearly $4 Trillion

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Cost of US wars at 4 trillionA new report issued by Brown University says the cost of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and operations in Pakistan - will cost the country nearly $4 trillion. The report's total is more than three times higher than U.S. President Barack Obama’s estimate in a recent speech.

When Obama recently announced a drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, he said America's wars have cost the country $1 trillion dollars. But a report by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies estimates the total cost at $3.7 trillion.

The study includes spending on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as operations in Pakistan. Catherine Lutz is one of the study’s co-authors.

“The reasonable estimate is approximately $4 trillion for the war, up to... today and including some of the future costs that we are obligated to pay for veterans care," said Lutz. "In addition, another $1 trillion in interest payments on the debt, we estimate will be required through 2020.”

Lutz said costs such as long-term care of wounded veterans, and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020, were included in the figures. Report co-author, Boston University Political Science Professor Neta Crawford, said other costs include lost opportunities because money was spent on war materiel.


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