Opportunity Cost of Military Spending United States of America


OpportunityCost of Military Spending: United States of America Involvement inthe Iraq War

OpportunityCost of Military Spending: United States of America Involvement inthe Iraq War

Waris costly to manage and not only on the part of the state in war butalso for other states that get involved in the war. World governmentsspend a lot of money in an attempt to prepare themselves for war.This is money that would otherwise be used to provide education,healthcare, fight inequities and protect individual human rights. Thewar that has been going on in Iraq for example, has led to a lot ofspending by states like the USA in an attempt to curb the ongoingconflicts. This war has been said to be the world’s bloodiest war.

Thepublic opinion on the involvement of the government in the war is tothe effect that the public expresses discomfort on the participationof the government in the war. Most Americans do not favor theinvolvement of the government in third-party interstate wars. Thereis general reluctance to support the involvement even when the aim isbased on political, humanitarian, moral or geopolitical factors.There has to be proof that the military goals are pragmatic,realistic and cost-effective. It is important that the costs ofparticipation in the war match the benefits.

Shoulda mission fail to match the opportunity cost of the war, then thesupport towards that involvement will waver. On the USA involvementin the war in Iraq there were mixed reactions. According to BulentGultekin, Wharton Finance Professor, it is important that the U.S.chooses its battles carefully due to the cost impact of such a moveto the country. In the same regard, Neta Crawford a Professor inBoston University, states that since this involvement is funded byborrowing, in the long run the country will spend more money than italready has spent(Gultekin &amp Crawford 2014).

Crawfordgoes on to say that U.S involvement in the war in Iraq has been acostly affair. The state spent more than $4 trillion. This affectedother spheres including the social, economic, human and politicalspheres. During the time that the war in Iraq has been going on, thegovernment has been accused of neglecting other important sectorslike the economy of the country to concentrate on the war, andinstead of there being benefits out of the involvement the country’seconomy has deteriorated.

Thewar in Iraq drained a lot of resources in the U.S(Cox &amp O`Connor 2012).. There is still much more money that is being spent and even if thegovernment justifies its actions in its involvement in wars in othercountries, by saying that it is meant for the good of the state, moreharm than good is being felt by the taxpayer who has to dig deeperinto their pockets for more money to pay taxes.

Militaryspending is dangerous as it is not so effective when it comes tocreating jobs for the citizens. This affects the opportunity cost. This is not to say that there are no job opportunities that come withthe involvement. The challenge is that if the money spent on themilitary would have been spent on something else like clean energy,more jobs would be created.

Thegeneral feeling is that the state cannot solve every other state’sproblems and there is need for an international consensus on how todeal with these issues (Alex &amp Larl 2010). There are other costeffective means that the U.S can still use to create a convivialenvironment to grow economically without necessarily getting involveddirectly in the war in other countries like Iran, Iraq and Syria.


Alex,M.m &amp Larl, D. (2010). Understanding Foreign Policy DecisionMaking. Cambridge University Press.

Bilmes,L. J., &amp Intriligator, M. D. (2013). How Many Wars Is the USFighting Today?.&nbspPeace Economics, Peace Science, &amp Public Policy,19(1),8-16. doi:10.1515/peps-2013-0011

Cox,L., &amp O`Connor, B. (2012). Australia, the US, and the Vietnam andIraq Wars: ‘Hound Dog, not Lapdog’.&nbspAustralianJournal Of Political Science,&nbsp47(2),173-187. doi:10.1080/10361146.2012.677004

Gultekin,B., &amp Crawford, N. (2014, August 13). The Costs of U.S. MilitaryInvolvement in Iraq. Retrieved March 20, 2015, fromhttp://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/gultekin- kw-radio/