“Costs of War” Underestimated by Government

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

The results of a research study called “Costs of War” conducted by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies was released on Wednesday. This study says that President Obama’s cost-of-war tab severely underestimates the cost of war in reality. Reuters reports that “when President Barack Obama cited cost as a reason to bring troops home from Afghanistan, he referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America’s wars.” According to the Brown University study, however, “the final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion” due to subsequent war costs such as taking care of injured veterans.

Reuters reports:

“In the 10 years since U.S. troops went into Afghanistan to root out the al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks, spending on the conflicts totaled $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.

Those numbers will continue to soar when considering often overlooked costs such as long-term obligations to wounded veterans and projected war spending from 2012 through 2020. The estimates do not include at least $1 trillion more in interest payments coming due and many billions more in expenses that cannot be counted, according to the study.”

According to White House estimates, since 2001, the full amount of money allocated towards war endeavors of the Department of Defense, intelligence, and State Department is approximately $1.3 trillion. They also predicted that number to reach about $1.4 trillion by the year 2012. In contrast, the Brown University researchers say that kind of government accounting is far too marginal to have a realistic perspective on war costs. They also say, however, that such accounting is nothing new for the government.

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.


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