SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

March 30, 2013

Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan wars keeps mounting

(Continued)

Bilmes looked much farther into the future. Her analysis included a wide range of direct and indirect costs, including replacement of the equipment used in the wars, continued funding of a U.S. diplomatic presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rapid expansion of the military’s health care system, and the economic impact on families of the injured and the dead.

She said that the high cost of caring for service members and veterans could ultimately lead to a smaller fighting force and greater investment in unmanned weapons, robotics and other technology.

“It’s going to force the Pentagon into making some very difficult trade-offs,” she said.

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