The REAL Cost in dollars (the cost in human lives and suffering is immeasurable) of just the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq (through 2012) may be as high as 6 Trillion Dollars. This dwarfs the figures that people complain about in social programs, and it threatens our ability to develop and maintain the weapons systems and readiness we need to face a real adversary (such as China or Russia) in the future.
Of course the effort to dislodge IS and the continued presence in Afghanistan will make that figure SOAR .
Yet much of it is simple waste, fraud, and war profiteering:
“The outrage lies within the auditing process of the Pentagon. It is the only federal agency not required by law to submit to an annual audit. Since 1996, the audits designed to hold the Pentagon accountable for action and spending, ceased. Here are some figures to ponder:
$8.5 trillion U.S tax funded is unaccounted for since 1996.
$9 billion lost and unaccounted for in Iraq; and
$549.7 billion lost in unaccounted for or stolen equipment 
$5.8 billion (2003-2011) in supplies lost, leaving army units at warfronts without critical life-saving equipment; and
$1.59 trillion in errors in the Pentagon’s Defense Finance and Accounting Service with a further $538 billion in “plugs” or rampant practice of fraud. ”
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