BIG SPENDERS

Study: U.S. Spent $5.6 Trillion on Wars in Middle East, Asia

The U.S. has spent $5.6 trillion since 2001 on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan, according to a new study. That figure, according to The Wall Street Journal, is more than triple the Pentagon’s narrow estimate of $1.5 trillion, which was released by the Defense Department this year. The Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University conducted the study, which aimed to reflect the costs of war not considered by the Pentagon—including the costs that weren’t taken on by the Defense Department in the first place. “War costs are more than what we spend in any one year on what’s called the pointy end of the spear,” the study’s author, Neta Crawford, told the Journal. “There are all these other costs behind the spear, and there are consequences of using it, that we need to include.”