US Wars Price Tag Nears $4T
Action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan approaching cost of WWII: study
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2011 4:52 AM CDT
US Army tank soldiers with the 91st Combat Engineers return to Camp Victory, near Baghdad, Iraq, following a mission in 2004.   (AP Photo/Jim MacMillan, File)

(Newser) – The real cost of American military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan dwarfs the $1.3 trillion appropriated on Capitol Hill, according to a study by Brown University's nonpartisan Eisenhower Research Project. The study estimates that the war bills already paid or obligated to be paid are at least $3.2 trillion and probably closer to $4 trillion, with the bulk of the spending buried in a variety of budgets and invisible to taxpayers, reports Reuters.

"Some people will say that's an expensive price tag, but (that) what we're trying to do makes it worth it," the co-director of the project tells the Washington Post. "Other people will say we can't afford it. That's the debate." The combined cost of the wars—including obligations to future veterans and interest already paid on money borrowed to finance the wars—is approaching the cost of World War II, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates was $4.1 trillion in today's prices, the Independent reports.