War Data: the Hidden Cost ($$$) of War

Can you estimate the true cost of war? What variables do you use? Is the cost of war only the salaries of the troops and the equipment they use? Should the cost estimates include lifetime medical care for injured troops? What about rebuilding the nation with which you are at war (assuming you win)? Do you include that as a cost?

I am continuing with this week’s theme of war data. In the animated infographic below, GOOD examines the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for United States taxpayers. Donald Rumsfeld initially stated that the war would cost $60 million dollars. The real cost will be in the trillions, according to the data presented in this video below, which was taken from research by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilme.

GOOD used data from “Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilme’s exhaustedly researched book, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict” to make this animation. Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate and former chief World Bank Economist. Blimes is a full-time faculty member at Harvard University and is considered “considered one of the leading experts in US budgeting and public finance”. I will, therefore, assume that the facts and figures cited in this animation are backed up with real data and solid research.

As you watched the video, did the use of any particular data or information stand out to you? If you were creating this video, is there data or information you would have left out in your cost estimate? Is there data or information you would have included that the creators of this infographic did not?

Please let me know what you think....