There is no fire like greed, No crime like hatred, No sorrow like separation, No sickness like hunger of heart, And no joy like the joy of freedom. Health, contentment and trust are your greatest possessions, and freedom your greatest joy. Look within. Be still. Free from fear and attachment, Know the sweet joy of living in the way. – Buddha
Any war is extremely costly. In case of financing any war, the transactions are handled by governments. The money comes from taxpayers. But who benefits from a war. And who Controls all of our money?
Governments are not abstract entities; they are composed of small number of people who make decisions affecting life of millions of other people. Often decision of one dictator or president result in death of millions of people.
War is intense armed conflict between states, governments, societies, or paramilitary groups such as mercenaries, insurgents and militias.
It is generally characterized by extreme violence, aggression, destruction, and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces.
Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general.
Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets, and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant suffering and casualties.
Politicians use the term “war” to accomplish their agendas, e.g. war on communism, war for freedom, war on drugs, war on terror…
All wars result in huge amount of casualties which include deaths of both soldiers and civilians from causes both directly and indirectly caused by the war, which includes combat, disease, famine, massacres, suicide, and genocide.
Anthropogenic means caused by humans. The list covers the name of the event, location and the start and end of each event. Some events may belong in more than one category.
In addition, some of the listed events overlap each other, and in some cases the death toll from a smaller event is included in the one for the larger event or time period of which it was part.
There is often large uncertainty about the number of deaths.
The deadliest war in history, in terms of the cumulative number of deaths since its start, is World War II, from 1939 to 1945, with 60–85 million deaths.
Most estimates of World War II casualties indicate around 60 million people died, 40 million of which were civilians.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam war persisted from 1955 to 1975 and most of the fighting took place in South Vietnam; the war also spilled over into the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos which also endured casualties from aerial and ground fighting. Estimates of the total number of deaths in the Vietnam War vary widely. Guenter Lewy in 1978 estimated 1,353,000 total deaths in North and South Vietnam during the period 1965–1974 in which the U.S. was most engaged in the war.
Civilian deaths caused by both sides amounted to a significant percentage of total deaths. Civilian deaths were partly caused by assassinations, massacres and terror tactics. Civilian deaths were also caused by mortar and artillery, extensive aerial bombing and the use of firepower in military operations conducted in heavily populated areas. Some 365,000 Vietnamese civilians are estimated by one source to have died as a result of the war during the period of American involvement.
During the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971, 18.2 million gallons of Agent Orange, some of which was contaminated with Dioxin, was sprayed by the U.S. military over more than 10% of Southern Vietnam, as part of the U.S. herbicidal warfare program called Operation Ranch Hand. U.S. Air Force records show at least 6,542 spraying missions were flown in Operation Ranch Hand over South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the ten-year span of the program. The herbicides were contaminated with dioxin, a deadly compound that remains toxic for decades and causes birth defects, cancer and other illnesses.
Vietnam’s government claimed that 400,000 people were killed or maimed as a result of after effects, and that 500,000 children were born with birth defects.
The War in Afghanistan
The War in Afghanistan (2001–present), code named Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–14) and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (2015–present), followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001, when the United States of America and its allies successfully drove the Taliban from power in order to deny al-Qaeda a safe base of operations in Afghanistan. Since the initial objectives were completed, a coalition of over 40 countries (including all NATO members) formed a security mission in the country. The war has since mostly involved US and allied Afghan government troops battling Taliban insurgents. The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in US history.
A report titled Body Count put together by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) concluded that 106,000–170,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting in Afghanistan at the hands of all parties to the conflict.
Iraq War (2003- present)
Estimating war-related deaths poses many challenges. Experts distinguish between population-based studies, which extrapolate from random samples of the population, and body counts, which tally reported deaths and likely significantly underestimate casualties. Population-based studies produce estimates of the number of Iraq War casualties ranging from 151,000 violent deaths as of June 2006 (per the Iraq Family Health Survey) to over a million (per the 2007 Opinion Research Business (ORB) survey).
Other survey-based studies covering different time-spans find 461,000 total deaths (over 60% of them violent) as of June 2011 (per PLOS Medicine 2013), and 655,000 total deaths (over 90% of them violent) as of June 2006 (per the 2006 Lancet study).
Body counts counted at least 110,600 violent deaths as of April 2009 (Associated Press).
The Iraq Body Count project documents 185,000 – 208,000 violent civilian deaths through Feb 2020 in their table.
All estimates of Iraq War casualties are disputed.
Economic Benefits of a War
Another byproduct of some wars is the prevalence of propaganda by some or all parties in the conflict, and increased revenues by weapons manufacturers.
Once a war has ended, losing nations are sometimes required to pay war reparations to the victorious nations. In certain cases, land is ceded to the victorious nations.
Typically, war becomes intertwined with the economy and many wars are partially or entirely based on economic reasons. Some economists believe war can stimulate a country’s economy (high government spending for World War II is often credited with bringing the U.S. out of the Great Depression by most Keynesian economists).
Cost of a war
Any war is extremely costly. The price is not limited to the battlefield related expenses but also to various aspects of the nations involved – from huge loss of human lives to political and economic problems. Here are estimates of financial cost of few post WWII wars [information based on articles published by Wikipedia]
Economic cost of the Vietnam War
The Department of Defense (DOD) reports that the United States spent about $168 billion (worth around $950 billion in 2011 dollars) in the entire war including $111 billion on military operations (1965 – 1972) and $28.5 billion on economic and military aid to Saigon regime (1953 – 1975). At that rate, the United States spent approximately $168,000 for an “enemy” killed. However, $168 billion was only the direct cost. According to Indochina Newsletter of Asia Resource Center, the United States spent from $350 billion to $900 billion in total including veterans’ benefits and interest.
Cost of the Afghanistan War ( 2001 – present)
The cost of the war reportedly was a major factor as US officials considered drawing down troops in 2011.
The estimate for the cost of deploying one US soldier in Afghanistan is over US$1 million a year.
In March 2019, the United States Department of Defense estimated fiscal obligations of $737,592,000,000 have incurred expended during FY2001 to FY2018 in Afghanistan, at a cost of $3,714 per taxpayer. However Brown University research came up with a higher figure of $975 Billion for FY2001 to FY2019.
For FY2019, the United States Department of Defense requested ~$46,300,000,000 for Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL (US codename for War in Afghanistan) and Related Missions. According to “Investment in Blood”, a book by Frank Ledwidge, summations for the UK contribution to the war in Afghanistan came to £37bn ($56.46 billion).
According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion by 2017 including interest.
In 2011, the independent Commission on Wartime Contracting reported to Congress that, during the previous decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States had lost between $31 and $60 billion to waste and fraud and that this amount may continue to increase.
Financial cost of the Iraq War (2003- present)
The Iraqi conflict (2003–present) is a long-running armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011, but became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition.
The costs of the 2003–2010 Iraq War are often contested, as academics and critics have unearthed many hidden costs not represented in official estimates. The most recent major report on these costs come from Brown University in the form of the Costs of War, which totaled just over $1.1 trillion. The United States Department of Defense’s direct spending on Iraq totaled at least $757.8 billion, but also highlighting the complementary costs at home, such as interest paid on the funds borrowed to finance the wars.
Those figures are dramatically higher than typical estimates published just prior to the start of the Iraq War, many of which were based on a shorter term of involvement. For example, in a March 16, 2003 Meet the Press interview of Vice President Dick Cheney, held less than a week before the Iraq War began, host Tim Russert reported that “every analysis said this war itself would cost about $80 billion, recovery of Baghdad, perhaps of Iraq, about $10 billion per year. We should expect as American citizens that this would cost at least $100 billion for a two-year involvement.”
Cost of the War on Terror
The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism, is an international military campaign launched by the United States government after the September 11 attacks. The targets of the campaign are primarily Sunni Islamist fundamentalist armed groups located throughout the Muslim world, with the most prominent groups being Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, the Taliban, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and the various franchise groups of the former two organizations.
The naming of the campaign uses a metaphor of war to refer to a variety of actions that do not constitute a specific war as traditionally defined. U.S. president George W. Bush first used the term “war on terrorism” on 16 September 2001, and then “war on terror” a few days later in a formal speech to Congress. In the latter speech, George Bush stated, “Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.” The term was originally used with a particular focus on countries associated with al-Qaeda.
The War on Terror, spanning decades, is a multitrillion-dollar war.
According to the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute, the War on Terror will have cost $5.6 trillion for operations between 2001-2018 plus anticipated future costs of veterans’ care.
According to the Soufan Group in July 2015, the U.S. government was spending $9.4 million per day in operations against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
A March 2011 Congressional report estimated war spending through the fiscal year 2011 at $1.2 trillion, and future spending through 2021 (assuming a reduction to 45,000 troops) at $1.8 trillion. A June 2011 academic report covering additional areas of war spending estimated it through 2011 at $2.7 trillion, and long-term spending at $5.4 trillion including interest. In direct costs, the United States Department of Defense reports spending $1.5 trillion from 2001 to March 2019 in war costs in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Legal Standards Governing Pre-Emptive Strikes and Forcible Measures of Anticipatory Self-Defense under the U.N. Charter and General International Law.
Historically, the United States had never unilaterally attacked another nation militarily prior to its fIrst having been attacked or prior to its citizens or interests fIrst having been attacked. This posture has changed permanently. On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush of the United States announced the expansive “Bush Doctrine,” when he declared:
“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. “
In the same manner, Vice President Dick Cheney declared before the National Association of Home Builders on June 6, 2002 thus:
“… we also realize that wars are not won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy and, where necessary, preempt grave threats to our country before they materialize. “
On August 26,2002, before the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention, Vice President Dick Cheney went on and declared as well that:
… containment is not possible when dictators obtain weapons of mass destruction, and are prepared to share them with terrorists who intend to inflict catastrophic casualties on the United States.
A financial transaction is an agreement, or communication, carried out between a buyer and a seller to exchange an asset for payment.
It involves a change in the status of the finances of two or more businesses or individuals.
The buyer and seller are separate entities or objects, often involving the exchange of items of value, such as information, goods, services, and money.
It is still a transaction if the goods are exchanged at one time, and the money at another.
This is known as a two-part transaction: part one is giving the money, part two is receiving the goods.
A financial transaction always involves one or more financial asset. Either buyer or seller can initiates such a transaction, hence one is the originator/initiator and the other is the responder. From liquidity point of view, one is the liquidity provider, the other party is the liquidity consumer. The liquidity provider is also called offer and the liquidity consumer is also called taker.
Who receives benefits from a war?
In case of financing any war, the transactions are handled by governments.
The money comes from taxpayers and goes to sellers: “the military industrial complex“.
Note: the “military industrial complex” is not an abstract entity – there are specific people who in the end increase their personal fortunes.
The military–industrial complex (MIC) is an informal alliance between a nation’s military and the defense industry that supplies it, seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy. A driving factor behind this relationship between the government and defense-minded corporations is that both sides benefit—one side from obtaining war weapons, and the other from being paid to supply them.
The term is most often used in reference to the system behind the military of the United States, where it is most prevalent due to close links between defense contractors, the Pentagon and politicians and gained popularity after a warning on its detrimental effects in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 17, 1961.
The military–industrial complex
President of the United States (and five-star general during World War II) Dwight D. Eisenhower used the term in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961:
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together. [emphasis added]
In the context of the United States, the appellation is sometimes extended to military–industrial–congressional complex (MICC), adding the U.S. Congress to form a three-sided relationship termed an iron triangle. These relationships include political contributions, political approval for military spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and oversight of the industry; or more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as corporations and institutions of the defense contractors, private military contractors, The Pentagon, the Congress and executive branch.
The Federal Reserve System
The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America.
It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics (particularly the panic of 1907) led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises. Over the years, events such as the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Great Recession during the 2000s, and the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, have led to the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System.
The Federal Reserve System is composed of several layers. It is governed by the presidentially appointed board of governors or Federal Reserve Board (FRB). Twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, located in cities throughout the nation, regulate and oversee privately owned commercial banks. Nationally chartered commercial banks are required to hold stock in, and can elect some of the board members of, the Federal Reserve Bank of their region. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sets monetary policy. It consists of all seven members of the board of governors and the twelve regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, though only five bank presidents vote at a time (the president of the New York Fed and four others who rotate through one-year voting terms). There are also various advisory councils. Thus, the Federal Reserve System has both public and private components. It has a structure unique among central banks, and is also unusual in that the United States Department of the Treasury, an entity outside of the central bank, prints the currency used.
Observe text on each printed paper bill (banknote): Federal Reserve Note.
During the Fiscal Year 2013, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
delivered 6.6 billion notes at an average cost of 5.0 cents per note
Although an instrument of the US Government, the Federal Reserve System considers itself “an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the board of governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms.
[ source: wikipedia ]
Who Controls All of Our Money?
PS List of wars involving the United States of America
The entire list is very long…
Notice that none of these wars involved USA territory (location).
Here are just post-WWII wars, invasions and military conflicts involving the USA
(1950–1953) Part of the Cold War
Laotian Civil War
(1953–1975) Part of the Indochina Wars and Cold War
(1958) Location: Lebanon
Bay of Pigs Invasion
(1961) Part of the Cold War
Simba rebellion, Operation Dragon Rouge
(1964) Part of the Congo Crisis and the Cold War
(1955–1964, 1965–1973, 1974–1975)
Part of the Cold War and Indochina Wars
Location: Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos
Communist insurgency in Thailand
(1965–1983) Part of the Cold War
Korean DMZ Conflict
(1966–1969) Part of the Korean conflict and the Cold War
Location: Korean Demilitarized Zone
Dominican Civil War
(1965–1966) Location: Dominican Republic
Insurgency in Bolivia
(1966–1967) Part of the Cold War
Cambodian Civil War
(1967–1975) Part of the Cold War
War in South Zaire
(1978) Part of the Cold War
Gulf of Sidra encounter
(1981) Location: Gulf of Sidra
Multinational Intervention in Lebanon
(1982–1984) Location: Lebanon
Invasion of Grenada
(1983) Part of the Cold War
Action in the Gulf of Sidra
(1986) Location: Gulf of Sidra
Bombing of Libya
(1986) Location: Libya
(1987–1988) Location: Persian Gulf
(1989) Location: Mediterranean Sea
Invasion of Panama
(1989–1990) Location: Panama
(1990–1991) Location: Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel
Iraqi No-Fly Zone Enforcement Operations
(1991–2003) Location: Iraq
First U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War
(1992–1995) Part of the Somali civil war (1991–present)
(1992–1995) Part of the Yugoslav Wars
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Intervention in Haiti
(1994–1995) Location: Haiti
(1998–1999) Part of the Yugoslav Wars
Operation Infinite Reach
(1998) Location: Sudan and Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan
(2001–present) Part of the War on Terror and the War in Afghanistan (1978–present)
2003 invasion of Iraq
(2003) Part of the War on Terror
(2003–2011) Part of the War on Terror
War in North-West Pakistan
(2004–present) Part of the War on Terror
Second U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War
(2007–present) Part of the Somali Civil War (1991–present) and the War on Terror
Location: Somalia and Northeastern Kenya
Operation Ocean Shield
(2009–2016) Part of the War on Terror
Location: Indian Ocean
International intervention in Libya
(2011) Part of the Libyan Crisis and the First Libyan Civil War
Operation Observant Compass
(2011–2017) Part of the War on Terror
American-led intervention in Iraq
(2014–present) Part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the Iraqi Civil War, the Spillover of the Syrian Civil War, the War on Terror and the International ISIS campaign
American-led intervention in Syria
(2014–present) Part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the Syrian Civil War, the War on Terror and the International ISIS campaign
Yemeni Civil War
(2015–present) Part of the War on Terror and the International ISIS Campaign
American intervention in Libya
(2015–present) Part of the Second Libyan Civil War, the War on Terror, and the International ISIS Campaign
- Military history
- Timeline of United States military operations
- United States involvement in regime change
- List of ongoing armed conflicts
PS Plan to save the world