This week ran an interesting article on the cost of the Iraq and Afghan Wars. To my mind, the most important observation made in the article is that the wars have been notable removed from the American population, with a small percentage of the population actually involved and a small part of the American GDP spent. Unlike World War 2, where over a third of the GDP went to the war and far more soldiers were committed. Vietnam had a comparable financial cost, but a draft brought the war home to a far greater degree.
It is an interesting note, especially in regard to how often America is at war and the danger that ‘limited’ wars could become more common as the costs are not directly related to the American people. As one historian cited in the article noted: “the army is at war, but the country is not.”