The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have certainly been costly in terms of lives lost, with thousands of U.S. military personnel dead, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who have been killed. But the economic costs are far greater than most people imagine, with the combined operational costs for both wars exceeding $1 trillion.

This out of control war spending has robbed our communities of money that would be better spent on job creation, schools, healthcare and other services that are desperately needed during this recession. 

In addition, our federal discretionary budget is so top-heavy with spending on “defense” that it weakens our actual security. The biggest security challenges we face are unemployment, foreclosures, and wrongheaded attempts to balance budgets on the backs of working families and children.          The biggest security challenges we face are unemployment, foreclosures, and wrongheaded attempts to balance budgets on the backs of working families and children.    Just as peace is more than the absence of war, national security is more than planes and bombs, it’s jobs and schools.

 Let’s stop war spending, cut the defense budget and put those dollars into meeting human needs.  

The American Friends Service Committee’s Cost of War project develops exhibits, resources and actions to highlight the economic cost of the wars and demand that Congress shift war funding to support human needs here and real solutions in Iraq and Afghanistan.