A Billion Here, a Trillion There

American defense policy specialist William Hartung has looked at war spending, and has an interesting comparison or two:

If we consider the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan together — which we might as well do, since we and our children and grandchildren will be paying for them together into the distant future — a conservative single-week estimate comes to $3.5 billion. Remember, that’s per week!

By contrast, the whole international community spends less than $400 million per year on the International Atomic Energy Agency, the primary institution for monitoring and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons; that’s less than one day’s worth of war costs. The U.S. government spends just $1 billion per year securing and destroying loose nuclear weapons and bomb-making materials, or less than two days’ worth of war costs; and Washington spends a total of just $7 billion per year on combating global warming, or a whopping two weeks’ worth of war costs.

Post title adapted from this classic.

One thought on “A Billion Here, a Trillion There

  1. Recently read the war’s going to cost circa $2-3 trillion and in the linked article there’s an estimate of double that. Obviously a whole packet of financial obligations are awaiting us American taxpayers, but that much?

    Rather upsetting–I think I need to take an aspirin.

    TITLE: The Last American Veteran of World War I and the Costs of War
    URL: http://atlanticreview.org/archives/1024-The-Last-American-Veteran-of-World-War-I-and-the-Costs-of-War.html
    BLOG NAME: Atlantic Review
    DATE: 03/08/2008 04:36:19 PM
    The Boston Globe

    World War I veterans still have no national memorial. There has been no Hollywood blockbuster in recent years to bring their story to life. But they still have Frank Buckles. More than 90 years after he fudged his age to join the Army


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