Rep. John Lewis Cost of War Act Passes as Part of Defense Authorization Bill
Yesterday, Rep. John Lewis’s Cost of War Act amendment passed the House as a part of its Defense Authorization Bill. The act requires the Department of Defense to post on a public website the cost to each taxpayer of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The war in Afghanistan has become the longest war in our history,” Rep. Lewis said. “ According to a Brown University study we have spent and currently obligated almost $4 trillion dollars on war since FY 2001. This is much, much more than the $50 billion we were told these conflicts would cost in the beginning. The Pentagon was originally allocated $1.4 billion to pay for these conflicts, and we have spent trillions more, paid for mainly by raising taxes and selling war bonds.
“There are millions of Iraq and Afghani refugees, and 675,000 disabled veterans as a result. Over 158,000 civilians have been killed, 6650 of our troops have died, and 3000 contractors have been killed.
“These are just a few of the horrifying impacts of war. In past administrations, attempts have been made to conceal the facts of these expenditures from the American people. The people have a right to know what they actually spend on these conflicts, and that is what this bill will do. It makes the cost of war plain, simple, and transparent so every American is aware of the sizeable sums we throw at these conflicts. Then each person can make his or her own assessment about whether this investment is worth the human and financial costs.”