Costs of War

There is no doubt that after 9/11 an enormous amount of resources has been allocated to the fight against terrorism. But how much has it costs exactly? And what are the human and political costs of the counterterrorism measures taken? Additionally, what are the benefits of the post-9/11 wars and what are alternative (less costly and more effective) ways to prevent further terror attacks?.

Answers to these questions are provided by an interdisciplinary research group coordinated by Brown University's Watson Institute –made up of more than 20 academics with backgrounds in Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, and Law.

Their website is definitely worth a look, as they have certainly come up with some interesting results. For example, the Costs of War project puts the wars' ultimate cost to the US at up to $4 trillion, pointing out that "many of the wars' costs are invisible to Americans, buried in a variety of budgets, and so have not been counted or assessed."

Particularly appealing is their distinction between economic, human, and political costs, and the fact that they don't just list numbers of civilian deaths, refugees and internally displaced people, but also analyse more complicated issues such as environmental costs, the wars' implications for women, and erosions in civil liberties and human rights violations. Additionally, apart from statistics, figures and charts you will also find interesting videos and information about the research methodology used.

L.v.T.  &  J.A.