Study: US Wars Cost $4 Trillion, Killed 258,000

137,000 Civilians 'Directly' Killed in Iraq, Afghanistan

A new study from Brown University’s Watson Institute has set an estimated that the post 9/11 costs of the assorted wars of the Bush and Obama Administrations has been in the realm of $4 trillion and has directly killed 258,000 people.

If this death toll seems a tad low, its because it is. The study readily admits that it is only calculating “direct” kills, and not the indirect deaths from shoddy healthcare, lack of access to food and water, etc in the various occupied nations.

The toll includes 137,000 civilians directly killed in Afghanistan and Iraq and notes that there are no reliable figures for the number of civilians killed in Pakistan, but says 35,000 more there is a conservative estimate.

The cost of the wars includes direct appropriations as well as the increased liability for long term care for wounded soldiers, etc. It does not include the CIA’s drone wars, because the cost of those is not known.

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.