Iraq War Has Cost Nearly $2 Trillion So Far: Analysis

Iraq War Has Cost Nearly $2 Trillion So Far: Analysis


The bill for the 16-year war in Iraq comes to about $1.92 trillion through the end of 2019, says Neta C. Crawford, a political scientist who helps run the Cost of Wars project at Brown University.

The cost breakdown:

  • $838 billion for “emergency” and “overseas contingency operation” funding in Iraq.
  • $382 billion in increases related to Iraq in the base budget of the Pentagon (out of a total $800 billion in increases since 9/11).
  • $59 billion for State Department and USAID efforts in Iraq and Syria.
  • $199 billion for the care of veterans who served in Iraq.
  • $444 billion in interest on federal borrowing to pay for the Iraq war effort.

Crawford says that spending in Iraq has fallen off sharply since its peak of roughly $140 billion in 2008, with the Pentagon requesting less than $10 billion in 2020 for Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. However, Crawford notes, “that budget may already be blown. Earlier this month, the US sent more troops into a war zone that was supposed to be winding down.”