Iraq, Afghanistan wars will cost $6 trillion, study says


An Afghan midwife revives a newborn baby who has with fluid in his lungs in the delivery room of a maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.


Natalie Behring-Chisholm

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars will cost US taxpayers somewhere between $4 to $6 trillion,  a new study out of Harvard University has found.  The study, by Linda J. Bilmes of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, says that the military's massive budget will affect all aspects of American life. In particular, Washington's decision to increase military benefits in late 2001 has had a major impact.

"As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives," Bilmes writes.

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 "The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come."

Previous research  has also put the cost of the wars in the $4 trillion range.

The figures are dramatically higher than what the US officials projected--back in 2002, they put the figure at a measly $200 billion,  the Washington Post reported