Throughout its history, the U.S. has had 1,197,475 soldiers killed in war and approximately another 2,330,290 have been wounded. These figures do not include Post Trauma Syndrome (PTS) victims or military suicides after the war.
Civilians often account for many wartime casualties. These deaths are caused by military actions, war-related famine and disease, and war crimes. Here are some estimates from wars America was involved with over the past century:
World War I — 9,000,000
World War II — 40,000,000
Korea — 2,000,000
Vietnam — 2,700,000
Persian Gulf — 2,000
Iraq — 193,000
Afghanistan — 38,000
For the past 70 years the United States has been the top supplier of weapons to the world. The U.S. exports more arms than than the next 9 countries combined.
The top 5 arms manufacturers in the world, along with their estimated sales figures are:
Lockheed Martin — $47,000,000,000
Boeing — $29,000,000,000
Northrop Grumman — $26,000,000,000
Raytheon — $23,000,000,000
General Dynamics — $22,000,000,000
There are an estimated 875,000,000 small arms in circulation worldwide, produced by more than 1,000 companies from nearly 100 countries. Their trade value exceeds $8,500,000,000 — each year.
It is estimated that the world spends nearly $3 trillion a year on arms, and the United States drives the bulk of the globe’s weapons trade — about 79%.
For fiscal year 2019 (FY2019), the U.S. Department of Defense budget is approximately $693,058,000,000 — which is about $2,100 per person.
It is estimated that the combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $315,000,000,000.
For comparison, the operating budget for Pax Christi USA – the largest national Catholic peace organization is around $450,000.
Much of the military’s equipment (bombs, missiles, tanks and ammunition etc.) is not considered a “consumer good.” “Consumer goods” are designed to be used and then replaced – a process which stimulates the economy. Most military equipment sits in storage waiting to be used.
The Costs of American Wars
Revolutionary War $101 million
War of 1812 $90 million
Mexican American War $71 million
Civil War $5 billion
Spanish American War $283 million
World War I $31 billion
World War II $316 billion
Korean War $54 billion
Southeast Asia War $111 billion
Persian Gulf War $61 billion
Total $578 billion
War costs often do not include: training, recuperation, counseling, peacetime operating costs of the military establishment, the prewar buildup of military expenditures in anticipation of hostilities and the postwar tapering off of such expenditures, property damage, the lost economic value of people killed or disabled in war, and the costs of wartime economic disruption.
The costs of a war are often transferred to future generations in the form of interest charges on war debts, and these charges usually continue long after the debts themselves have lost their identity in the total national debt. In a similar category are the costs of veterans’ pensions and bonuses and medical and hospital care and lifetime care.
Thousands of people are killed and injured by landmines each year. Almost 80% of these are civilians and over 40% are children.