better spent elsewhere

Our war against ISIS has already cost between $780 and $930 million so far, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. That is enough money to hire 10,000 teachers to work for a year.

That, of course, represents only a fraction of the money we will spend on a operation President Obama warned could take years.

Depending on the style of the military engagement the center estimates this latest war could cost ‘as little’ as $2.4 billion a year, if it is only low intensity air operations, or as much as $22 billion a year if it requires a large ground contingent.

What never gets much mention in the ramp up to war is the cost, and more importantly, what else we could do with that money. Several billion could hire a lot of teachers, create and fund many pre-K programs, pay for some big infrastructure projects, or save a huge number of lives by investing in clean water improvements in impoverished countries.

Photo by Images Money under Creative Commons license

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at