July 20th, 2010
07:32 AM ET
12 years ago

Report: Tab for 'War on terrorism' tops $1 trillion

ALT TEXT Workers continue construction on the World Trade Center site in July 15, 2010 New York City. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - The United States has spent more than $1 trillion on wars since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, a recently released Congressional report says.

Adjusting for inflation, the outlays for conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world make the "war on terrorism" second only to World War II.

The report "Cost of Major U.S. Wars" by the Congressional Research Service attempts to compare war costs over a more than 230-year period - from the American Revolution to the current day - noting the difficulties associated with such a task.

Since the the 9/11 terror attacks, the United States has spent an estimated $1.15 trillion. World War II cost $4.1 trillion when converted to current dollars, although the tab in the 1940s was $296 billion.

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Filed under: 9/11 • issues • Terrorism
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Steve

    To characterize this as 'war' is utterly ridiculous – we're just flexing our muscle by bombing the hell out of anyone that we perceive as a threat. This will only lead to more terrorism against us...I say enough!

    July 20, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    And what have we gotten for our $1.15 trillion?

    Almost nothing.

    Two wars that, in addition to the money wasted, have cost thousands of lives, and not only haven't made the US more secure, have likely done the opposite.

    A growing culture of fear and paranoia that lets government get away with things like the PATRIOT Act that's eating away at our civil liberties.

    Are we safer now than we were nine years ago? No. And the danger to Americans wasn't great even then.

    July 20, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  3. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    The biggest expansion of government in history, under the Bush Administration, has created so many agencies doing the same job, that no one knows which agency is in charge. The unpaid for Bush war in Iraq has also added over $1 trillion to the debt, and the republicans refuse to extend jobless benefits. Maybe November is not going to be a bad month for Democrats.

    July 20, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    When the government makes jobs, the opportunity for vast overspending is great, especially when incompetent workers are given the jobs.
    Does everybody remember the underwear bomber and how "the system worked?"

    July 20, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. http://www.couponcodes4u.com

    So whats the end spending over a trillion in last 10 years what are the results America is standing right there where from they have started...in fact thing are going worse and worse.

    July 20, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  6. hangemhi

    How does this research benefit Mr and Ms Taxpayer? I don't consider Bushes war a war against terrorism. It was a war of lies, deceit and war mongering by the Bush admin

    July 20, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    That's just the beginning. This war is ongoing, and it will likely continue for years, as it will likely result in WW 3 before all is said and done.

    July 20, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  8. bill

    just stop these wars.this country is going bankrupt.over bushes wars which we caint ever win. SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. BRING THEM HOME. SIMPLE ITS DONE

    July 20, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. Larry

    $3 trillion is a closer number.

    July 20, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. Gop screw the middle class

    Just another failed permanent war, like the war on drugs. Just follow the $ , it`s all about private defense contractors getting lots of money and accomplishing nothing.

    July 20, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. Jim in Florida

    Remember 9/11? Costly huh?

    You think another 9/11 type attack would be a problem for the economy in America and the World?

    A trillion is a small price to pay to combat Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism (let's call it what it is CNN).

    Besides, Obama and his merry band of jack booted socialist thugs can blow a trillion in a single week, they already have spent far more than that.

    July 20, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |