America's endless wars: costs and victims / News / News agency Inforos
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America's endless wars: costs and victims

The United States has spent about $6 trillion on wars so far in 21st century

20.11.2018 15:51 Sergey Sayenko, international observer

America's endless wars: costs and victims
Context:

              Studies of Neta Crawford, a professor of the Brown University's Institute of International and Public Affairs, showed that the United States would have spent over $5.9 trillion on wars starting from September 11, 2001 and by the end of 2019. Should the United States continue spending that much money then even if all wars stop by 2023, the aggregate costs would have risen by another $808 billion, exceeding $6.7 trillion.

            In turn, the U.S. Department of Defense said that it spend around $1.7 trillion on military actions starting from September 11, 2001 and until the end of the 2018 financial year. The figure includes expenditures on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and on combat operations in a number of other countries.

            Noteworthy, unlike the Pentagon's official statistics, Crawford includes in her calculations not only direct costs of combat actions, but also the Department of State expenditures, as well as costs of medical treatment of veterans in the United States, interests on loans used to finance wars, as well as measures of the Department of the Homeland Security to react and to combat terrorism. So, the real cost of wars in which the United States take part exceeds official figures more than 3.5 times.

            According to statistics provided in the study, more than 480,000 people, including 244,000 civilians, died in wars with the U.S. participation. Moreover, 10 million people were forced to change their places of living, becoming refugees.

            Remarkably, the major part of truly soaring costs of the United States goes for military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Victims and refugees of wars are mainly people from these countries.

            It seems that Washington is not going to shorten the sails of its military expenditures. At least the military budget for the 2019 financial years that amounts to an unprecedented figure of $716 billion vividly shows that. A total of $69 billion of the sum is expected to be spent at "overseas operations", mainly at the war in Afghanistan, the end of which seems to be out of sight. And more than 2,200 American servicemen have been killed and 20,000 wounded since it started in 2001.

            In reality the United States just does not want a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem, otherwise it would have reached an agreement with for example the Taliban long time ago. What is more, the Americans can reach agreements if it fits their national interests. But no, Washington simply does not need that, and that is why its military contingent in Afghanistan exceeds 20,000 people, while drug business flourishes there. It looks like that the United States has gained more than it has spent in Afghanistan - it simply would not have unleashed a war having other ends in mind.

            Apparently, official Washington does not care much about the scope of military expenditures and the number of victims of its reckless military actions. Noteworthy, the White House under President Donald Trump stopped keeping up travesties of democracy and human rights worldwide. Now it openly says that its task is to preserve the American leadership, to protect its own interests, and to reach promising markets in the interests of America's prosperity. And it is all from the position of force. The United States' huge military budget for the 2019 financial year is a proof for that.

            It is obvious that Washington will not change its strategy, because the United States is fighting for being the one and only in the world. And it still cherishes the idea of ruling the world. By the way, these are exactly the provisions stated in the new National Security Strategy published back in December 2017.

            Speaking about U.S. "overseas operations" one should say that the Americans are fighting against not quite strong countries not to say militarily weak countries and are spending huge sums there. This means they are fighting and killing in countries that cannot give a decent response to them; however, even in this case the United States cannot secure a complete victory there. Syria and Afghanistan are vivid proofs for this.

            These two countries are not the only one that the United States has militarily invaded recently. For example, since the end of World War II the Americans have interfered domestic affairs of 27 countries. They have mainly bombed and destroyed them and sometimes have used other forces to destabilize the situation in a country. Washington's policy that is still trying on the role of the world policeman and does not want to give it up, can easily be described by a famous Soviet joke, "there will be no war, but the fight for peace will be so bad that not a stone will be left standing."

            Let's have a look at the statistics of U.S. military interference into domestic affairs of a wide range of independent countries over the past 25 years: Panama – eight times, Nicaragua, Honduras and China – seven times each, Cuba – six times, Iran – five times, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Yugoslavia, Iraq and the Philippines – four times each, Korea, Libya, Guatemala, Yemen, and Liberia – tree times each, Chili, Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Laos, Somalia, and Afghanistan – twice each.

            Starting from the Truman era and up to President Trump, U.S. foreign political strategies have always stated the right of the Americans to support the interests of "free world" in its struggle against Communism notwithstanding that such support has meant violations of national sovereignty of other countries. Even after the Soviet Union collapsed American politicians persisted with broad interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine that declared the right of the United States to interfere in affairs of other countries.

            It is exactly the reason why although the United States declared the non-interference principle as their motto, it has continued to actively and blatantly breach the sovereignty of other nations, considering interference into their domestic affairs, often militarily and assigning huge funds for that, as its lawful right. Washington does not care much about human losses. At least, Neta Crawford study is exactly about this.

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