In the 13 years since 9/11, the United States’ “war on terror” could be considered a failure. ISIS swept aside the US-backed Iraqi army earlier this year, the Taliban still launches deadly attacks, including an assault on a school last month that killed 145 people, and American interventions only seem to worsen sectarian bloodshed in the region.
The geopolitical disaster has come at a tremendous cost to American taxpayers, according to a recently released report by the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan government organization. The report estimated that since 9/11, American taxpayers have shelled out close to $1.6 trillion on war spending (that’s $14 million an hour), with almost 95 percent of that money going to projects related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The figure put forth by the CRS makes the war on terror the second most expensive military effort, after World War II.
The report concluded that U.S. military operations in Iraq, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, accounted for 51 percent of war-related expenses. Meanwhile, 43 percent of that money went to counterterror operations in Afghanistan.