It is hard even for attentive members of the public to fully comprehend the U.S. military budget.
“The scale of spending alone makes it hard to grasp. Public understanding of the costs of war is further limited by secrecy, faulty accounting, and the deferral of current costs,” I argued recently in a short paper for the Costs of War Project at Brown University. See The Costs of War: Obstacles to Public Understanding, November 14, 2018.
Neta C. Crawford of Brown University estimated the post-9/11 costs of war at $5.9 trillion through FY 2019.