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Costs of All U.S. Major Wars in Table Form

Earlier this week, we posted a new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) on the costs for the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and for the war in Iraq: $439 billion and $319 billion, respectively. CRS has also distributed on Capitol Hill a table showing the costs of all previous major wars the United States has been involved in. In the interests of history and comparison, we present the CRS data in a more simplified table form below.

The current war is now the fifth most expensive in U.S. history (behind World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War). If the Congressional Budget Office correctly projects 2007 to 2016 GWOT costs at $371 billion, the current war’s total becomes $810 billion, which would make it America’s second most expensive war (second only to World War II).

Click here to see the CRS table, as distributed on Capitol Hill.

Winslow Wheeler, Director, Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight

By: Winslow Wheeler
Director, Straus Military Reform Project, CDI at POGO, POGO

Mr. Wheeler's areas of expertise include Congress, the Defense Budget, National Security, Pentagon Reform and Weapons Systems

The goal of the Straus Military Reform Project is to secure far more effective military forces and much more ethical and professional military and civilian leadership at significantly lower budget levels.

We would like to thank Philip A. Straus Jr. and family for their generous support.

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