Friday, 1 July 2011

Report: US wars cost $4 trillion

The US involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan has cost the United States USD 4 trillion over the last decade, according to a new study released by Brown University.


As budget deadlines loom closer and heated debate escalates over how to bring down government debt, Americans are astounded by the high price tag, a Press TV correspondent reports from Washington. Using estimates from several research offices in Congress, more than 20 economists, political scientists and other experts contributed to the new study. They also estimate that at least 225,000 people, including civilians, troops and insurgents, have died as a result of the conflicts. Of that number, an estimated 6,000 were uniformed US military personnel. They estimate that the cost of federal obligations to provide care for past and future veterans will eventually total up to USD 950 billion.


Moreover, according to these estimates, the two wars have created nearly eight million refugees among Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis. Nearly all Americans that spoke to the Press TV correspondent regarding the issue on Thursday said they want the wars to end, though a few stated that the wars were necessary. "It's impossible for the US to continue to police the world," said one African-American citizen. Another individual said, "We're also on the verge of another meltdown. I think that we should be concentrating more on our funds in our country." However, a young woman pointed out that "if the president (Obama) is putting people over there, then he must know what he's doing." Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, the budget battle rages on, as Democrats stepped up their attacks on Republican lawmakers. New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer has accused Republicans of deliberately sabotaging the economic recovery. Schumer says republicans are blocking job creation efforts with the hopes of pinning blame for the sluggish economy on President Obama and Democrats.


Meanwhile, US Unemployment is stuck at over nine percent. Both sides have reached a tentative agreement on roughly USD 1.5 trillion in spending cuts. Brent Budowsky, an American columnist says, "People on Capitol Hill are having nightmares about who they're going to have to cut and hurt on the budget." Lawmakers must raise the USD 14.3 trillion debt ceiling before August 2; otherwise, the Treasury Department has warned it will run out of money to pay the country's bills, and that could jeopardize America's triple A credit rating. JM/MGH/MB