News Release

$1 Trillion for War: What Could It Have Gotten?

Comerford, executive director of the National Priorities Project, said today: “Wednesday, October 7, marks the eighth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Our analysis find that, to date, U.S. military operations in Afghanistan have cost U.S. taxpayers $228 billion, $60.2 billion of which was spent in FY 2009 alone. Monthly costs in Afghanistan during FY 2009 averaged $5 billion, up from $3.5 billion per month in FY 2008.

“In FY 2010, U.S. military spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is projected to be $130 billion, which would mean we’ll hit $1 trillion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in March.

“Cumulatively, funding was split between the two U.S. wars at a 70/30 ratio, with the majority of U.S. dollars going to operations in Iraq. In FY 2010, this ratio is projected to shift, with Afghanistan war spending accounting for over 50 percent of total costs.

“The numbers are staggering: $228 billion in Afghanistan war spending equals 800,000 four-year university scholarships for U.S. students. For different locales, $228 billion means $469.1 million from Boston, Massachusetts taxpayers — the equivalent of healthcare for 140,600 people in Boston; $1.5 billion from folks in Alameda County, California, which equals 4,341 affordable housing units for them; or $89.2 million from people in Evanston, Illinois, which equals 1,372 elementary school teachers for their kids.”

See “Cost of War Counters” for Afghanistan, Iraq and combined — as well as “tradeoffs,” which lets you see how much cities, states and congressional districts have spent on the wars and what that money could have gotten:

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167