The Impossible Estimate:

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington defense think tank, offers its own “highly speculative” estimate for the cost of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and Operation Noble Eagle at home, positing a total cost of $337 billion through Fiscal 2006 and up to $650 billion by 2015. Caution: The eight-page analysis repeatedly notes the shaky foundation for such estimates, given “the enormous uncertainty surrounding deployment levels and other considerations.” Although the analysis also says the US may ultimately spend more (in 2006 dollars) on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than it did for the Korean War ($445 billion) and Vietnam War ($635 billion), it notes that the actual financial burden as a share of the economy is much less than for the earlier wars.