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America's $3.7 trillion wars: By the numbers
The estimated price tag for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is enough to cover California's budget for the next four decades — plus other statistical insights
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates addresses troops in Afghanistan: The final costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars could reach $4.4 trillion.
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates addresses troops in Afghanistan: The final costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars could reach $4.4 trillion.
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W

hen President Obama announced that he would withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by mid-2012, he cited the cost of the war as a factor in his decision. Rightly so: By the time the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end, it's estimated they will have cost the U.S. trillions and trillions of dollars, according to "Costs of War," a research project conducted by Brown University. That's enough to cover California's total spending — estimated at $86 billion this year — for at least the next four decades. How does that money break down, and where is it going?

$3.7 trillion
The minimum total cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to Costs of War

$4.4 trillion
The maximum total cost of the wars, according to Costs of War

$1.4 trillion
Congress' estimated cost of the wars through the end of 2012, according to the Congressional Research Service
 
$2.7 trillion
Total spending in Afghanistan alone since the September 11 attacks, according to Costs of War

$934 billion
High-end estimate of veterans benefits costs through 2050

$453 billion
Projected war-related spending between 2012 and 2050

$185 billion
Estimated cost of interest payments for money borrowed to fight these wars

4,466
Number of American troops who have died in Iraq

1,534
Number of American troops who have died in Afghanistan

125,000
Costs of War's estimate of civilian deaths in Iraq

7.8 million
Number of people who have been displaced by the conflicts, which is "equal to the combined population of Connecticut and Kentucky," according to Merco Press

33,000
Number of troops Obama plans to withdraw by Election Day 2012

Nearly 70,000
Number of troops who will remain

Sources: CBS NewsCosts of WarMerco Press, NBC NewsHuff. Post (2)

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