225,000 lives and up to four trillion dollars. That is, in its most simplistic terms, the cost so far of the so-called ‘War on Terror’, triggered by the 9/11 attacks on the United States, according to a report published earlier this year by the Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.
Neta C. Crawford, a professor of Political Science at Boston University, was a project director of the report Costs of War
She told euronews’ Valerie Zabriskie that the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq have been funded in a different way to past military campaigns – by borrowing. She argues that repaying this debt, and the interest it will generate, may compromise the US’ ability to tackle future threats.
While Crawford admits that Americans were united in their desire for revenge against the attackers, the choice to go to war was made out of “fear and anger”. There were, she believes, alternatives: while the US saw the attacks as an act of war, it could equally have regarded them as a crime. And the path of war, she says, is more costly and more bloody than the path of law enforcement.