The Most Expensive US Conflicts From 1950-2020

May 8, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, otherwise known as V-E Day. It is a celebration of Nazi Germany’s surrender after a grueling, roughly six-year war that involved 30 countries and claimed more than 70 million lives. Not only did World War II come with a devastating cost of life, but it was also the most expensive battle in U.S. history — totaling $4.7 trillion.

Thankfully, no U.S. conflict since has cost as much, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been cheap either. America has been involved in five full-fledged wars since WWII and all have cost, at a minimum, about $100 billion. But which one has been most expensive for taxpayers?

By analyzing the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Iraq War and the ongoing War in Afghanistan, GOBankingRates found each war’s peak year of spending, cost as a percentage of GDP and total cost at the time and in 2020, accounting for inflation. Discover the true cost of war and the effects major conflicts have on America’s economy.

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