Post-9/11 counterterrorism spending by the United States totaled $2.8 trillion from 2002 through 2017 — 16 percent of the entire U.S. discretionary budget, a new study showed.
The study by the Stimson Center, a policy research group, reported the tally includes expenditures for government-wide homeland security efforts, international programs, and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
It found that funding peaked at $260 billion in 2008 at the height of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; last year, counterterrorism spending was $175 billion. The average was $186.6 billion per year over 15 years — a figure more than the overall 2017 defense expenditures of Russia, India and South Korea combined, Defense News reported.
Here is the breakdown of spending during the 15-year period, Defense News reported:
- Homeland security spending totaled $979 billion, 35 percent of the overall counterterrorism figure.
- Emergency and overseas contingency operations spending at the Department of Defense totaled $1.7 trillion — 60 percent.
- War-related spending at State/USAID totaled $138 billion, or 5 percent.
- Non-overseas contingency operations counterterrorism foreign aid totaled $11 billion, less than half a percent of the total figure.
The study authors conceded the final figures were “imprecise,” and warned “the transparency of current data is eroding” — noting the Office of Management and Budget’s annual homeland security report has been discontinued for fiscal year 2018, Defense News reported.
The group recommended “a clear and transparent counterterrorism funding report,” and new legislation requiring Congress to vote to approve spending designated as war-related emergency or wartime overseas contingency operations spending.