I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the costs of war, then I saw this post today: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/the_cost_of_americas_wars_felt_but_unknown_20110817/
$9.7 billion a month. What would a $9.7 billion a month increase mean for our education system? Medicare? Welfare programs and unemployment?
How much aid could we send to drought savaged areas and weather torn disaster areas across the globe for an additional $9.7 billion? How much better could we take care of people and our environment if that $9.7 billion went a different place each month?
Then I began to think about how this article only discusses the material cost of war. How do present day soldiers and veterans rank this number when they think of the cost of war? I imagine they’d include more than just the monetary costs for training, transport, and supplies.
How do you make a monetary equivalent for lost limbs, mental health, and hearing? How do we add all those costs to this $9.7 billion a month? How do we make a monetary equivalent for broken families, loved ones who are lost or absent for months at a time? How do you put that into a cost analysis sheet?
And what about the toll the warfare is taking on the locations where troops have been deployed? Where are the costs of the buildings, streets, transports that were busted up? What about the homes and civilian costs that have been a part of this war? Why isn’t that added into the cost analysis given by the Department of Defense?
I think if we’re going to talk about the cost of war, we should be very thorough in our discussion.