Friday, June 19, 2009

Comparing Various War Expenditures

Yesterday, we looked at the costs of various one time events versus the bailouts. It took one year of bailouts to rack up the debt totals of 206 years of war, westward expansion, space exploration, etc.

The chart we created omitted numerous conflicts (WWs, the Civil War, etc.) and I was curious as to actual costs of them, adjusted for Inflation.

Reader Ernst Mayer turned me on to this analysis by Stephen Daggett, a specialist in Defense Policy and Budgets. Daggett’s table (shown below) gives you our war spending details, but — spoiler alert – no other military engagement remotely compares to the financial costs of WWII. Total inflation adjusted spending: over 4.1 trillion dollars. That was about 36% of GDP.

Incredible.

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Years of War SpendingPeak Year of War Spending
Total Military Cost of War in Millions/Billions of DollarsWar Cost % GDP in Peak Year of War
American Revolution

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1775-1783

101 million

1,825 million

NA
War of 1812

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1812-1815

90 million

1,177 million

1813
2.2%
Mexican War

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1846-1849

71 million

1,801 million

1847
1.4%
Civil War: Union

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1861-1865

3,183 million

45,199 million

1865
11.3%
Civil War: Confederacy

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1861-1865

1,000 million

15,244 million

NA
Spanish American War

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1898-1899

283 million

6,848 million

1899
1.1%
World War I

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1917-1921

20 billion

253 billion

1919
13.6%
World War II

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1941-1945

296 billion

4,114 billion

1945
35.8%
Korea

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1950-1953

30 billion

320 billion

1952
4.2%
Vietnam

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1965-1975

111 billion

686 billion

1968
2.3%
Persian Gulf War /a/

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

1990-1991

61 billion

96 billion

1991
0.3%
Iraq /b/

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

2003-Present

616 billion

648 billion

2008
1.0%
Afghanistan/GWOT /b,c/

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

2001-Present

159 billion

171 billion

2007
0.3%
Post-9/11 Domestic Security (Operation Noble Eagle) /b/

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

2001-Present

28 billion

33 billion

2003
0.1%
Total Post-9/11–Iraq, Afghanistan/GWOT, ONE /d/

Current Year $

Constant FY2008$

2001-Present

809 billion

859 billion

2008
1.2%

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Source:
Costs of Major U.S. Wars
Stephen Daggett, Specialist in Defense Policy and Budgets
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Congressional Research Service Report for Congress (RS22926)
24 July 2008
http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/costs_of_major_us_wars.htm

1 comment:

Ritholtz said...

STOP TAKING ENTIRE POSTS

YOU ARE GOING TO BE CLOSED DOWN

LAST WARNING