Unemployment Is the Real Price of War

Price of War
Price of War

By Gregg Easterbrook

The cost of ongoing U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is up to at least $1.2 trillion. What would the economic recovery look like if that money hadn't been spent?

The GDP was about $10.1 trillion when U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, and is $14.7 trillion now, an annualized growth rate at around 2 percent. That the U.S. economy still was able to grow despite war cost - every penny of it borrowed - other runaway borrowing, and the 2008 revelation of systemic perfidy on Wall Street, at the big banks and at Fannie Mae is testimony to America's vibrancy.