The Economics of War: How Much It Costs to Fight a War

   The nature of war has always been a conflict of interest. However, smart politicians and military strategists will not start war blindly, because war is really a matter of too much labor and loss of money and money. If you do not calculate this economic account, not only will you not gain benefits, but it will even paralyze a country’s economy.
  What is the cost of war How much does it cost to
   fight a war? In the Kosovo War in 1999, the United States spent more than $7 billion in air strikes that lasted 78 days; in the two-month war in Afghanistan in 2001, the U.S. military spent more than $10 billion alone. The Iraq War, which began in 2003, cost the U.S. between $28 billion and $30 billion in less than two months of offensive time.
   Where is the silver of these white flowers? Arms and personnel are the main expenditures. For example, during the First World War, the total cost of the war in the United States in 1918 was close to 36% of the annual GDP. In order to prepare for this war, the United States also turned 30% of its automobile production capacity to tank production.
   During World War II, U.S. military spending further increased. At its peak, military spending alone accounted for one-third of U.S. GDP. In 1944, this figure was 37.9%. Whether it is total direct cost or per capita direct cost, U.S. war spending have reached their peak.
   Especially after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States once again increased weapons production. From 1918 to 1933, the United States produced only 35 tanks; by 1940, the United States produced 309; in 1943, the production of American tanks increased to a staggering 29,500. On a more macro level, the United States produced a total of 88,430 tanks during World War II, compared with 24,800 in Britain and 24,050 in Germany. The same is true for aircraft. In 1943 and 1944, when the annual output was the highest, the United States produced 85,898 and 96,318 aircraft respectively.
   Looking at the expansion of military personnel, a set of data comparisons is very representative: Before 1939, the number of US troops had never exceeded half of the 280,000 people stipulated in the National Defense Act of 1920, but by 1942, the number of US troops had exceeded 280,000. 9 million people.
   In addition to the consumption of manpower, material resources, and financial resources directly invested in the war, the war will also make the country and the government pay for the welfare or subsidy expenses after the soldiers are discharged. During the 1991 Gulf War, more than 100,000 service members suffered from chemical-related “Gulf syndrome,” and more than 40,000 of them were chronically disabled. Even 16 years after the end of the war, the U.S. government still needs to provide more than $4.3 billion in grants, pensions, and pensions to 200,000 veterans.
  The post-war cost is heavier
   In addition to direct cost, the war has caused greater damage to the national economy and has a longer-term impact. The first effect is inflation. After the end of World War I, Germany not only had to repay the wartime borrowings, but also had to pay a huge indemnity of 132 billion marks. Germany could not get this money, and France joined Belgium and Poland to enter Germany’s economic lifeline unceremoniously—— In the Ruhr Industrial Zone, known as the “Ruhr Crisis” in history, Germany can only choose to print money crazily. The money supply was too high and the goods were not enough, causing prices to skyrocket and hyperinflation in Germany. By 1923, banknotes with a face value of 100 trillion appeared in Germany. Children used the banknotes to make kites, and the banknotes were used as firewood, which could be seen everywhere. Similarly, post-World War II Japan also experienced an inflationary period. According to relevant data, between 1945 and 11949, the retail price index in Tokyo, Japan increased by 240 times.
   1917-1918, 1941-1945, the late 1960s to the 1970s (Vietnam War), and 1991 (during the Gulf War) were also peak periods of U.S. inflation.
   The second impact is on the total economic volume, that is, the level of GDP, which will be differentiated in different countries. During World War II, the per capita GDP of Germany and Japan fell by at least half, and their currencies depreciated significantly after the war. For the big winner, the United States, GDP rose during the war. From 1941 to 1945, the average annual growth rate of GDP was as high as 11%, and the unemployment rate fell. But after World War II passed, the United States could not maintain the rapid growth of GDP due to the lack of strong military demand.