It’s much, much worse than we thought. Keep in mind, the $4 Trillion long-term number is also leaving out such important metrics such as:
- Future payments for interest on the debt from 2011 forward.
- Unfunded costs that American[s] paid to care for their war wounded family member[s] (one in five of the cases of serious wounding has this effect).
- The costs of the CIA Predator and Reaper drone surveillance and strike program in Afghanistan. This “black” budget item, which included the costs of the drones, the operators, fuel, and weapons, is not known publicly.
- The promised money, yet to be paid, for reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.
…along with some other important items. Here’s the entire report [PDF] written by Neta C. Crawford and Catherine Lutz. It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs all around. Given the low-ball estimates when we began this great colonial adventure compared to what this report outines, there’s every reason to believe that the numbers only get bleaker from here.