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A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Aug 24th 2005

The Trillion Dollar War

Linda Bilmes had an illuminative piece in the NY Times over the weekend on the true cost of the Afghanistan/Iraq conflicts.

But the biggest long-term costs are disability and health payments for returning troops, which will be incurred even if hostilities were to stop tomorrow. The United States currently pays more than $2 billion in disability claims per year for 159,000 veterans of the 1991 gulf war, even though that conflict lasted only five weeks, with 148 dead and 467 wounded. Even assuming that the 525,000 American troops who have so far served in Iraq and Afghanistan will require treatment only on the same scale as their predecessors from the gulf war, these payments are likely to run at $7 billion a year for the next 45 years.

Agree or not with the decision to go into Afghanistan and Iraq, the article provides a realistic look at the “true financial cost” of the war(s).

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