Neo-cons who worship at the altar of despots like Dick Cheney and act as shills for the Military Industrial Complex are driving America into the ground. At the same time they continue to attack social programs an create "tail wagging the dog" scenarios to stir paranoia in justifying their campaigns of deceit. The real enemies of America are right here at home.
What was the Department of Defense allocated for war? The Pentagon's total appropriation for war from 2001-2011 in current dollars was $1.4 trillion. The DOD was also allocated additional funds for its "base" budget. This totals approximately $836 billion, some portion of which has been used for war expenses (such as increased medical care for active duty soldiers), and all of which might be counted as having been appropriated as a result of the war climate.
War related spending is also found in the foreign assistance budget, known on Capitol Hill as "International Assistance" spending. Aid to Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan grew because of the war to $104 billion in current dollars. Much of that spending by the State Department and USAID directly supported military efforts.
How has the US paid for the wars so far? The US paid for past wars by raising taxes and or selling war bonds. The current wars were paid for almost entirely by borrowing. This borrowing has raised the US budget deficit, increased the national debt, and had other macroeconomic effects, such as raising interest rates. The US must also pay interest on the borrowed money. The interest paid on Pentagon spending alone, so far (from 2001 through FY 2013) is about $316 billion in current dollars.
The US also increased spending on homeland security by more than $470 billion. We include this as excess spending on homeland security that occurred as a result of the war on terror. Considered by many an important part of domestic mobilization for the wars, there continue to be questions about the effectiveness of this spending.
What has already been spent to care for the medical and disability needs of US veterans? The US has already spent nearly $160 billion for both medical care and disability for the more than two million veterans of these wars. Each day, more veterans continue to apply to receive their benefits.
Obligations for Future Spending: The costs of war don't end when the fighting stops. Specifically, the US has incurred obligations by fighting the wars. For example, the US is obligated to pay the future medical and disability costs of veterans. As in past wars, medical and disability costs will peak in about 30 to 40 years, totaling more than an estimated $1 trillion.
Unless the US immediately repays the money borrowed for war, there will also be future interest payments. We estimate that interest payments could total about $1 trillion dollars by 2023, or over $7 trillion by 2053.