LIFE by Sophisticated Youth

Memorial Day > The Cost of WAR

Posted on: May 25, 2009

A look at how many have served, how many have died, and how much we’ve spent on every major American war.

American Revolution, 1775-1783
290,000 service members, 4,435 Americans dead*, $1.8 million spent

War of 1812, 1812-1815
287,000 service members, 2,260 Americans dead, $1.2 million spent

Mexican War, 1846-1848
79,000 service members,13,238 Americans dead, $1.8 million spent

Civil War, 1861-1865
2,213,000 service members, 625,000 Americans dead**, $45.2 million spent

Spanish-American War, 1898-1902
307,000 service members, 2,446 Americans dead, $6.8 million spent

World War I, 1917-1921
4,734,000 service members, 116,516 Americans dead, $253 billion spent

World War II, 1940-1947
16,113,000 service members, 405,399 Americans dead, $4.1 trillion spent

Korean War, 1950-1955
5,720,000 service members, 61,085 Americans dead, $320 billion spent

Vietnam War, 1964-1975
8,744,000 service members, 58,220 Americans dead, $686 billion spent

Gulf War, 1990-1991
2,225,000 service members, 467 Americans dead, more than $96 billion spent

Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), 2001-present
53,000 service members, 686 Americans dead, $188 billion

Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), 2003-present
160,000 service members, 4,299 Americans dead, $671 billion

*This number is widely disputed and current estimates are closer to 8,000.

** Includes Confederate soldiers

(All totals were adjusted for 2008 dollars and do not account for veteran benefits, foreign aid, or interest. Most death tolls are official government totals and do not account for controversial deaths. All service members totals are U.S. armed forces and auxiliary forces, and do not account for private contractors.)

Sources: Oxford Companion to American Military History; United States Department of Defence; The New York Times; The Brookings Institute; CRS Report for Congress

via: GOOD magazine


2 Responses to "Memorial Day > The Cost of WAR"

Memorial Day, when we pretend that we live in a free country because of all the people who were killed in the government’s senseless wars.

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