November 13th, 2007
08:45 PM ET
10 years ago

The true cost of the war on terror

Watch Jessica Yellin's report on a new report by Congressional Democrats.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic leaders in Congress released a report Tuesday where they estimated the total costs of the country's military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The report estimates the total cost of the war on terror– including what Democrats call the war's "hidden costs" - at $1.6 trillion. 

This is twice what President Bush has requested from Congress to fund  operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but far less than the $50 billion the Bush administration initially estimated for the Iraq war in 2003.

Related video: Watch Ed Henry's report on the President's budget battle with Congress 

Related: Bush to Congress: Cut the pork

Related: Panel estimates war costs at $1.6 trillion by 2009

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Filed under: Congress • Iraq • President Bush
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Ron Paul is looking better and better all the time.

    November 13, 2007 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  2. Paul Thompson

    The high price of living...are you willing to pay?

    Most Americans are weary of your negative coverage of this.

    November 13, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  3. brandi ny

    How about if I do a study of pork barrel spending, 13.3 billion in '06 . If we were really in financial trouble, I don't think we'd have 13billion laying around to use for discretionary projects like the "bridge to nowhere!"

    November 13, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  4. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Well .... uhh .... is it "whoop-t-friggin-do" ? Where's the refund line ... oh ! I see it now. There, next to the time machine ... right behind WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, The Balkans, Somalia, etc, etc. I think 9-11 cost the economy a trillion or two, and they didn't even ask if we wanted to play. How much have we saved by not having had another major attack so far ? Don't like the cost of any of it one bit, but last time I checked, wars are "in for a penny, in for a pound".

    November 13, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. Eric, New York

    1.6 trillion is less than 50 billion...oh really? Did Bush actually estimate 50 billion or 50 trillion? If he estimated trillion, then this is just a typo on CNN's part and is forgivable...and makes us Americans fools to support spending 50 trillion on a war. If Bush requested 50 billion then somebody at CNN really needs to go back to math class.

    November 13, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  6. Joel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    But expanding SCHIP was too expensive. Good grief.

    November 13, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    Hillary said that she will get us out of the war before her term is up. Oh great...another four years of this war no matter who is elected.

    November 13, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. JD Rugby ND

    Seriously, why did we invade Iraq?

    November 13, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  9. Jordan, Seattle WA

    This isn't particularly new information. It's been widely known and reported (particularly by anyone with a basic Economics 100 level of knowledge) that the hidden costs of the war were far more great than the administration was claiming.

    That said, it's ridiculous that it took Congress this long to actually come out and recognize that.

    November 13, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  10. Ann ME

    It's all about the cost, isn't it?

    November 13, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. Chris, Pensacola FL

    I'm not paying for it. I didn't authorize the war.

    November 13, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. Michael, Houston TX

    Yes sir, George, Dick and Rummy;
    That is just terrific, and you don;t add this into the budget estimates?

    About $20,000/family of four I hear as a breakdown?

    I am hoping for a ressurection of impeachment charges, and some serious probes into how this war was justified in Iraq, how it has been run. This is getting completely ridiculous. What a tragic comedy, the most powerful country on earth, a beacon of hope for billions reduced to a bit player on the world stage – a parody of it's former stsnding and glory, spending itself into bankruptcy as it is run into the ground by the village idiot. The worst part is the blind defense of this administration as the ship is slowly sinking... we really do have nowhere to go but up from here.

    Good luck America!

    November 13, 2007 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  13. Terry, El Paso, TX

    I know that this is an expression of my paranoia regarding Conservatism...

    I can't help but wonder if the neo-cons are deliberately trying to bankrupt the federal government, thus removing it as a powerful force in the country. I have read about the political tactic of "starving the beast" the beast being the federal government.

    If that is not the case, then I have to assume that the current administration is much more delusional than I had previously realized.

    November 13, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  14. Eric, New York

    1.6 trillion is less than 50 billion now? Who would have thunk it?

    November 13, 2007 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  15. Ronald, Bloomingdale, Georgia

    Not only does this show that the Government can't count - but the last paragraph prooves that CNN can't either! can anybody explain how $50 billion is less than 1.6 Trillion?

    November 13, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. David Branch, Waco, Texas

    Would be a lot less if the previous president hadn't been so soft on Al-Qaeda.

    November 13, 2007 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. Jason Atlanta GA

    Who's doing the math here? $1.6 trillion is "far less than the $50 billion" Bush first said it would cost? No wonder no one is able to see the the truth, even our media outlets can't put 2 and 2 together!

    November 13, 2007 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  18. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    We can spend endless trillions on a war, but the Republicans (along with Bush's veto) will make sure we don't dare spend a single extra billion on our own people for education or health care.

    More reason we need real change!

    Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards '08

    November 13, 2007 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  19. Steve, Santa Cruz CA

    Gee... I always thought that 1.6 Trillion was a lot more than 50 Billion...

    November 13, 2007 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. JoJo Farnsworth, New York, NY

    1.6 trillion is "twice what President Bush has requested from Congress to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but far less than the $50 billion the Bush administration initially estimated for the Iraq war in 2003."

    How can 1.6 trillion be far less than $50 billion?

    November 13, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  21. PollM, Dallas Tx

    The hidden cost of war is what Republicans want to make sure you never see, and if you do they'll use fear card.

    Do you consider the War justifiable given the total estimated cost and economic impact on America?


    November 13, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. Dan, Seattle WA

    1.6 trillion is far less then 50 billion??? How about 320 times more?!
    If you can't count, how can you report?

    November 14, 2007 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  23. George, IL

    Several points:

    Can we put a price tag on soldiers that are killed, maimed, and mentally destroyed? And the suffers endured by their family members?

    This war has never been about oil. With those trillions we can buy a whole lot of oil. More than what it takes to flood the Bay Area and more. So what is it about?

    The final total (whatever that means) will be way higher than the quoted number. Who picks up the tab?

    November 14, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Flower, Dayton, Ohio

    I'm no math major but... yes, $1.6 Trillion is more that twice what Bush and team have requested...but "_far less_ than the $50 Billion" ???
    I recall from elem school that trillion is _bigger_ than billion?
    Meanwhile. Can someone tell me how much the entire federal budget is for education?

    November 14, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  25. Christian, Tampa FL

    Thank you George Bush, Congress, and the Media for handing my generation a debt of blood and money that is going to be with us for a long time.

    You know, it's kind of upsetting how the older generations are leaving things for my generation now. The World War II generation actually left the world a better place, but the baby boomers are leaving us young folk with global climate change, war debt, a world that doesn't like us much, and a social security system with imminent failure.

    Thanks a lot, folks.

    November 14, 2007 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
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