Congressional Report: $1 Trillion Spent on Wars Since 9/11

Inflation Adjusted Cost Second Only to World War 2

A Congressional Research Service report on the direct military costs of America’s assorted wars has put the global war on terror since September 11, 2001 at over $1 trillion, making it the second most expensive military action in American history, adjusting for inflation.

The cost of $1.147 trillion was second only to World War 2, which cost $4.1 trillion. It should of course be remembered, however, that the war on terror is not over yet, and that the costs continue to rise dramatically as the wars expand.

The costs only reflect the direct cost of the military operations, and does not include the various other expenses related to America’s adventurous foreign policy. Private reports indicate the US is actually spending about $1 trillion every single year on the current set of wars.

The enormous costs of the conflict continue to be felt particularly hard in the current economic turmoil. The Obama Administration has pledged to freeze much of the domestic spending budget going forward so he can continue to find more money to pump into the various wars included in the war on terror.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.