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Memorial Day: The Cost of War

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


A look at how many have served, how many have died, and how much we've spent on every major American war.American Revolution, 1775-1783290,000 service members, 4,435 Americans dead*, $1.8 million spentWar of 1812, 1812-1815287,000 service members, 2,260 Americans dead, $1.2 million spentMexican War, 1846-184879,000 service members,13,238 Americans dead, $1.8 million spentCivil War, 1861-18652,213,000 service members, 625,000 Americans dead**, $45.2 million spentSpanish-American War, 1898-1902307,000 service members, 2,446 Americans dead, $6.8 million spentWorld War I, 1917-19214,734,000 service members, 116,516 Americans dead, $253 billion spentWorld War II, 1940-1947 194516,113,000 service members, 405,399 Americans dead, $4.1 trillion spentKorean War, 1950-19555,720,000 service members, 61,085 Americans dead, $320 billion spentVietnam War, 1964-19758,744,000 service members, 58,220 Americans dead, $686 billion spentGulf War, 1990-19912,225,000 service members, 467 Americans dead, more than $96 billion spentOperation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), 2001-present53,000 service members, 686 Americans dead, $188 billionOperation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), 2003-present160,000 service members, 4,299 Americans dead, $671 billionAMERICAN CASUALTIES ON MAJOR WARS SO FAR: 1,294,039TOTAL SPENT ON MAJOR WARS SO FAR: $6.51406 trillion*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 Defense; The New York Times; The Brookings Institute; CRS Report for Congress
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