The Cost of War
By John C. Reiger, Veterans for Peace, Ch. 87
Former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, the last president with any major war experience, put it bluntly, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms . . . is spending the genius of its scientists, the sweat of its laborers,”
Now that the wars are winding down, we tend to focus our attention elsewhere and forget that there are fiscal and human costs for these wars that will go on for decades, even for generations. Heck, we have not finished paying for World War II, much less Korea and Vietnam.

War Money and Debt: The most obvious cost of the invasion of Iraq and Afghan is the money that was wasted. So much money was spent on these wars that it stunted our economy. Much of that war money was actually borrowed. We will be paying off those debts for a long time, and that is money (up to $6 trillion dollars) that could be used for other, better things.
The Human Costs: All that money out of our wallets is bad enough, but there is also a terrible human cost to war. Injuries, deaths, and crippled lives will linger for decades. Next time you see a young veteran missing body parts remember that this is a very personal, very human cost of war. These war injuries need to be treated and compensated for until these young veterans reach old age and fade away. And if the world were fair we should be paying for all the civilian misery we caused by our invasions.

Secret Wars - Secret Costs: The Obama administration seems to be shifting away from full-frontal-assault, boots-on-the-ground military invasions in favor of drones and the secret operations of special forces. While we may celebrate the lower cost (we hope) and fewer casualties (to our troops at least) the fact that the costs of these sneaky attacks are often hidden in “black” budgets means we may never know their true financial costs, or human costs.

Militarization of Society: There is one cost of war that is never even noticed, much less mentioned - the militarization of society. How often do we see obvious civilians parading around in military-like clothes? Our police forces now have military weapons and sometimes tank-like vehicles. Drones are next. School children dress in lookalike clothes, just like soldiers. We have “wars” on poverty, drugs, terror, etc. And these are just some obvious signs of military influence on civilian society. This kind of military thinking can lead us regular citizens to willingly give up precious freedoms, all in the name of the illusion of “national security.”
And that is the ultimate “Cost of War!”