The costs of waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan is actually $1.5 trillion, Democrats say in a report out today—far above the $802 billion spent or appropriated by Congress. Citing "hidden costs" such as higher oil prices, veterans' care, and interest on war debt, the report estimates the average family of four has spent $20,000 so far, the Washington Post reports.
Sen. Chuck Schumer called the cost "tragically unacceptable," while Republicans have characterized the assessment as defeatist. Analysts on both sides of the aisle agree that while the report may be exaggerated, true costs are much higher than published. By comparison, Vietnam is estimated to have cost $600 billion in today's dollars, while World War II ran $4.9 trillion.