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WHAT THIS MAN COST US IN BLOOD AND TREASURE

The lives lost

2,976 Dead in 9/11 attacks

4,452 U.S. dead in Iraq

1,462 U.S. dead in Afghanistan

17 U.S. dead in 2000 bombing of USS Cole

12 U.S. dead in 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

The other costs

$806 billion Cost of Iraq war • $444 billion Cost of Afghan war

$708 billion U.S. defense budget 2011 • 19 percent Portion of total U.S. budget

81 percent Growth in defense spending since 9/11

$20.7 billion Aid to Pakistan

$10 billion Loss of air traffic revenue

$1.3 billion Cleanup costs

$10 billion to $13 billion Property and infrastructure damage

83,000 Job losses directly related to 9/11

$11.4 billion Cost of veterans' medical care since 9/11

THE COSTS OF BUILDING A SCHOOL, A HOSPITAL, A ROAD

IN BASRA, IRAQ - The United State spent $150 million on this 94-bed children's hospital, where a young patient is shown being transported last October.

AT HOME - Hospitals in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties will lose an estimated $68.5 million in Medicaid funds this year.

IN AFGANISTAN - The United States is spending an estimate $176 million on a highway between Gardaz and Khost,

AT HOME - New Jersey's governor cancelled plans for a badly needed tunnel under the Hudson River because of its cost.

IN AFGHANISTAN - The United States has spent $58 million rebuilding or refurbishing schools such as this one in Bagram, where a U.S. soldier shakes hands with an Afghan boy during its reopening in 2008.

AT HOME - School districts in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties will lose an estimated $216 million in state funding this year.

In 2004, Osama bin Laden appeared in a video and vowed to "bleed America to the point of bankruptcy.''

We're not there — yet. But apart from the tremendous human toll, the Sept. 11 attacks have extracted a staggering sum from world's most powerful nation. Since 9/11, the United States has spent at least $1.28 trillion on the war on terror. That's an amount equal to 9 percent of the national debt.

By far the biggest chunk of money — $1.2 trillion — has gone to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. That's almost twice as much, adjusted for inflation, as we spent on the Vietnam War and 11 times as much as it cost under the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II.

Enhanced security has gobbled another $28.6 billion. For Americans fortunate enough not to have lost loved ones in the hijackings or the wars, the most obvious changes since 9/11 are the new security measures that have us partially disrobing at airports and getting patdowns at football games.

But consider this: At the very time U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $66 billion to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, we've seen devastating cutbacks at home in education, in health care, in repair and replacement of aging roads and bridges. It's not a zero sum game — the money that built a clinic in Iraq wouldn't necessarily have gone to a clinic in Tampa. And you could argue that by improving life in war-shattered countries, we're making a good investment in a more peaceful world.

As for bin Laden, he made a pretty good return on his own investment. In that 2004 video, he boasted that al-Qaida had spent just $500,000 to pull off the 9/11 hijackings.



Building a hospital, a road, a school over there ... while doing without at home

IN BASRA, IRAQ The United States spent an estimated $150 million on the 94-bed children's hospital, below, where a young patient is shown being transported last October.

AT HOME Hospitals in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties will lose an estimated $68.5 million in Medicaid funds this year.

IN AFGHANISTAN We're spending an estimated $176 million on the damaged highway between Gardez and Khost, below, one of the most expensive construction projects per mile undertaken.

AT HOME New Jersey's governor cancelled plans for a badly needed tunnel under the Hudson River because of its cost.

IN AFGHANISTAN The United States has spent $58 million rebuilding or refurbishing schools such as the this one, below, in Bagram, where a U.S. soldier shakes hands with an Afghan boy.

AT HOME School districts in Hills- borough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando will lose an estimated $216 million in state funding this year.

On the back page Keeping a secret and the president's poker face • A photo that's worth these 1,000 words

WHAT THIS MAN COST US IN BLOOD AND TREASURE 05/07/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 7, 2011 4:31am]
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