WASHINGTON — From fiscal 2002 to 2017, the U.S. spent 16 percent of its entire discretionary budget as part of the counterterrorism fight, a new report has found.
Counterterrorism funding — a broad term that includes government-wide homeland security efforts, international funding programs, and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria — totaled $2.8 trillion between fiscal year 2002 and 2017, per the newly released Stimson Center study.
That’s an average of $186.6 billion per year over 15 years. For comparison, that figure represents more than the overall 2017 defense expenditures of Russia, India and South Korea combined. The yearly average would also top the combined yearly average spent by the United States in the Korean and Vietnam wars, according to a government estimate using FY2011 dollars.
Spending on counterterrorism peaked in 2008 with around $260 billion, a figure that dipped to $175 billion in 2017. Even that low figure would still represent almost 2.5 times the Trump administration requested for its Health and Human Services budget for FY19.
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