Costs to the U.S. of 20th and 21st Century Wars
The table and associated graphics below present the cost of GWOT to June 2006 in comparison to approximate costs incurred by the United States in the major conflicts in which it engaged during the 20th Century. All data other than for GWOT were derived from the Statistical Summary, America's Major Wars Webpage of the U.S. Civil War Center (USCWC) of Louisiana State University. The cost to June 2006 of GWOT was obtained from the Congressional Research Service as cited above, and the population estimate for the United States in calculating the per capita cost of GWOT was estimated at 299 million, based upon recent U.S. Census Bureau data. USCWC cost figures for wars of the 20th Century were presented at the USCWC Website in 1990 dollars, but are presented here in 2006 dollars based upon adjustments made using consumer price index data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflating the USCWC data from the year each war ended to the present. (Note that on the USCWC site, the 1990 cost equivalent of World War I is incorrect: the figure reported there is $97 billion dollars, but the original cost of the war, which was $26 billion, would be $225 billion in 1990 dollars.) War durations were derived from war timelines at Infoplease.com.
Readers are cautioned that, unlike the other wars presented below, the Global War on Terror is not yet completed and will not be in the foreseeable future. This will most specifically affect total cost of the conflict, but may also affect both monthly and per capita costs depending upon the level and direction of future expenditures.
The Dark Wraith encourages a careful review of the data presented above.