Why exclude them? That’s like asking how much it costs to operate your business while excluding taxes, benefits and pensions. It’s all a cost.
The auto industry, and others, are in deep shit because the underestimated the future costs of expenditures they agreed to. Is the cost of a house with a mortgage the agreed to selling price or the amount that the buyer will actually pay before the have clear ownership? I think the later.
If you know, do you have a figure that would include all of the above plus whatever else was spent of the war. In other words, how much money has been spent on the war in totto as opposed to if we had never gone to war at all.
It’s like a guy in business figures out exactly (or close) the cost for him to “open the door everyday”.
If you’re looking for the direct costs to the US taxpayer for military operations, you’re looking at $752 billion through September 2008. This includes funds for pay of military personnel, operations and maintenance, fixing or replacing broken equipment, ammunition, building bases, and similar DOD-only costs. It does not include reconstruction funds or additional medical care provided by the VA.
And do you also want to subtract from the expense the benefit of the economic stimulus of spending so much money? Without the injection of that much money into our economy, how much worse off would we be, and how do you calculate that?
In the end, the most you can say is that it was a ridiculous waste of a lot of money(not to mention lives) for a stupid cause. But the notion that, for instance, had we not spent the money there, it would be available somewhere else is not correct either, particularly in the current climate of borrowing in the name of “economic stimulus.”
If you want to go there then you have to establish a cost/benefit ratio to spending the money on a war in a foreign land or spending it on infrastructure in the homeland?
Eisenhower warned against the “military industrial complex”. Maybe the American public, and the Presidents that followed him should have listened. What if the costs of the Vietnam War and the 2nd Iraq war had been invested in the US infrastructure and education? (The 1st Gulf War was largely financed by the Saudis and the Kuwaitis.) Maybe then we wouldn’t need the current economic stimulus.