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Permanent War: Longstanding US Policy

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America used nuclear weapons before. Smart money says they'll be used again. Obama's worse than Bush. He may order the unthinkable. Humanity may not survive his second term.

Washington's wars aren't cheap. Professor Linda Bilmes explained. She teaches budgeting, cost accounting and public finance at Harvard's John F. Kennedy's School of Government. She's a leading expert in her field.

She and Joseph Stiglitz co-authored " The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict ." Her important paper "Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: The Long-term Costs of Providing Veterans Medical Care and Disability Benefits" covers a little discussed issue.

Her new report explains more. It's titled "The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets."

Combined, they're America's "most expensive wars in US history." Their estimated cost is from $4 - $6 trillion. The largest portion is for longterm medical care and disability payments.

It's for service members, veterans, and families. War left hundreds of thousands of combatants physically and emotionally damaged. America consumes its own. Its human cost gets little attention.

Epidemic post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) levels alone affect hundreds of thousands of combat forces and vets. 

The VA estimates over 30% of Vietnam vets, around 10% of Gulf War forces, and up to 20% of Afghanistan and Iraq troops. 

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