U.S. economy could fall casualty to wars.
The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show.
In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years
Beyond 2008, working with "best-case" and "realistic-moderate" scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion -- or more -- by 2017.
Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.
A boy rests at an Iraqi refugee camp in June. Economists say it's hard to calculate the social costs of war.
That total far surpasses the $670 billion in 2007 dollars the Congressional Research Service says was the U.S. price tag for the 12-year Vietnam War.