The Iraq War amounts to 9% of the national debt, as the U.S. government spent an estimated $2 trillion – about $8,000 per American – of taxpayers' money on conflict operations, aid, healthcare, and interest on debt, according to The Cost of Wars project.
The estimated totals include $1.922 billion for conflict zone operations in Iraq and additional budget increases for the State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), homeland security, reenlistment bonuses, healthcare costs for active-duty and war veterans, and an estimated $444 billion in interest payments, according to the report.
During the 18-year operation, "government has financed this war by borrowing funds rather than through alternative means such as raising taxes or issuing war bonds," according to project author Heidi Peltier. "The costs of the post-9/11 wars include not only the expenses incurred for operations, equipment, and personnel, but also the interest costs on this debt."
Medical benefits and other compensation for 4.1 million veterans who served in wars post-9/11 total nearly $199 billion, according Department of Veterans Affairs reports.
"The veterans of the post-9/11 wars are, in general, much more disabled than veterans of previous wars," project's co-director Neta C. Crawford said.
President Donald Trump has vowed to draw down troops in the region, including Afghanistan – the longest running war in U.S. history.
After the killing for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, the Iran-back factions of the Iraqi parliament voted to force foreign forces out of Iraq.
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