United States Forces - Iraq Blog

10 Years On: Costs Of The War – A Financial Look

This is the first post of a new series – Costs Of The War – focusing on the financial costs of the Iraq War.

According to the CostsOfTheWar.org (The Costs of War project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, scholarly initiative based at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University) the current financial cost of the Iraq War is $3.1 Trillion and it’s increasing:


To read the full paper on the financial costs of the Iraq War click here and to view a breakdown of the financial costs click here. Visit Costs Of The War’s website for further reading.

In constant dollars
[1] Includes appropriations for Afghanistan, Iraq and Operation Noble Eagle.
[2] Average of Bilmes and Wheeler estimates of Additional Pentagon Spending attributable to the wars. Costs include military reset, operations in OEF operations in Africa, increases in pay and medical expenses.
[3] Includes appropriations for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.  Does not include appropriations for Uzbekistan.
[4] Assuming that the US Congress Overseas Contingency Operations appropriations for the DOD and State/USAID for Afghanistan and Pakistan are roughly at 2008 (pre-surge levels) and that Iraq appropriations continue to decline.  The US is projected to have 32,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of February 2013 and the U.S. may keep as many as 8,000 – 10,000 troops in advisory and support roles in Afghanistan for some years beyond the withdrawal of combat forces after 2014.
[5] Net Present Value for current veterans.
[6] Estimated using a Solow model to model feedbacks from deficit-financed government defense spending into current GDP, the capital stock, and interest rates.  The severity of the burden of war-related interest payments will depend on many factors, not least, the overall future health of the U.S. economy, interest rates, government fiscal policy, and national saving.
IMAGE on Iraq anniversary page: Dori via Wikimedia Commons