For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Christopher Hellman,
Director of Research
Jo Comerford, Executive Director
413.559.1649 (cell)

10 Years: Cost of War

Finding Funding for FEMA? Take a Look at Iraq

WASHINGTON - October 7, 2011 will mark ten years since the beginning of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.  With this in mind, NPP has released new numbers, analysies and tools about the costs of a decade at war.

Research findings include:

  • Since 2001, the U.S. has spent $7.6 trillion in security-related efforts, including: Department of Defense base-line, nuclear weapons, Homeland Security and war.
  • From 2000 to 2011, security-related discretionary spending increased 96% versus non-security discretionary spending which increased 39%.
  • The 2011 cost of interest on the national debt which is related to military spending is $80 billion. This is equal to the 2012 budgets of Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Labor and Transportation combined.
  • 2011 spending on the Iraq War ($47.4 billion) would pay for all the public disaster funding that FEMA disbursed from Fiscal Year 1999 through Fiscal Year 2010.
  • 2011 spending on the Afghan War ($122 billion) is greater than the 2012 deficits of 42 states and the District of Columbia combined.

You can find a host of new information here. 


Also check out our latest Cost of War visualization.

 COW Visualization 

What's in 10 Years After 9/11? The following is a brief list:


Cost of War Counters - A running tally of the cost to date of the wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan, along with total war spending, updated every millisecond. New: see the counters roll for the entire nation, your state, county, Congressional District and/or city/town.


Trade Offs - Explore the magnitude and meaning of U.S. war costs using our interactive trade off tool. New: we've updated the tool to include new trade offs focused on housing, an annual grocery bill and a family's yearly energy bill.


Making Sense of War Dollars - A series of visual stories comparing various war-related funding and military spending figures to other budget numbers - such as veterans' benefits, stimulus funding, Pell grants, and state budget shortfalls, to name a few.

Top Ten Military Spending Numbers (you need to know) - New from NPP: here's a new list of numbers you ought to know about the U.S. military. 


What's At Stake? - 50 current state-level briefs focused on the local impact of war spending. Check out what your state could have funded if it re-directed war-related federal income tax dollars toward Head Start, health insurance, renewable energy, higher education and more. 


NPP Publications - Factsheets and analyses related to the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon budget, and security-related spending.


NPP Blogs - A timely look at issues related to war spending and national security, featuring "How Safe Are You? What Almost $8 Trillion in National Security Bought You" written by NPP's Christopher Hellman for


War Costs by State - NPP used Google Map technology to explore a state's cost of war and rate of poverty combined with the number of homeless individuals and the percent of people with food insecurity, including people who cut meals or worried about running out of food. Use NPP's data to tell your own story and share it! 


Check out If I Had a Trillion Dollars, a national youth video contest.


For real-time updates, connect to Cost of War through Facebookand Twitter.



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The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.  Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels.  For more information, go to

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