Submitted by Stock Board Asset
Previously unreported Pentagon data shows how much the average U.S. taxpayer has paid for combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria. According to the two page report summary, the cumulative estimated cost of the 16 year war in the Middle East has cost each taxpayer $7,500.
According to Defense One, Americans paid the most for the wars in 2010, an average of $767 per taxpayer. Since the peak, the annual amount has declined to $289 this fiscal year and $281 projected for 2018. By October of 2018, the Pentagon’s share of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria will have collectively cost taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion, according to the Department of Defense.
On the other hand, the Watson Institute at Brown U. tells a different story of the actual cost of war coming in at a staggering $4.8 trillion on a post 9/11 basis, and since this spending has been funded through new debt issuance, interest on the borrowed funds could climb to $7.9 trillion by 2053.
According a paper by Columbia University economist and former chief economist of the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University’s Linda Blimes, former US President George W. Bush’s economic adviser Larry Lindsey touted that war costs would be capped near $200 billion when pitching the Iraq War, which he thought would be “good for the economy.”
The economists wrote that "it now appears that Lindsey was indeed wrong – by grossly underestimating the costs." They determined that $750 billion to $1.2 trillion had been spent on the Iraq invasion alone, three years after the conflict started (2006). Now, 11 years after their paper, the Pentagon actually says that the Iraq, Afghan, and Syrian conflicts combined have summed just $1.5 trillion”.
On a historical basis, the Pentagon has had a checkered past when it comes to accounting. In 2001, Donald Rumsfeld told the American people, the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 trillion or $8,000 per American citizen.
Last August, the Pentagon did it again and according to a shocking government report, somce $6.5 trillion in taxpayer funds were unaccounted for due to "accounting error."
Considering the trillions in taxpayer funds spent to prop up the US defense industry, and the staggering amount of "accounting inconsistencies" inside the DOD, it is safe to conclude that America's war machine will be very busy in the coming years, making shareholders of the military-industrial complex richer with every passing year.