Islamabad: Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost the US between 4-6 trillion dollars in the long term, a study has said.
According to Harvard University scholar Linda Bilmes, this would constrain the government`s budget for decades to come.
Bilmes concluded that the US will face increasing costs to care for an estimated 2.5 million veterans, and to pay down debt incurred by borrowing to pay for the wars.
According to the News, Bilmes, who served in government under former president Bill Clinton, calculated that the US has already spent nearly 2 trillion dollars directly for the two wars launched by former president George W. Bush.
But Bilmes` study said the biggest cost would be medical care and disability benefits, saying that over half of the 1.56 million troops discharged from service have already been granted benefits for life.
Bilmes, who called the numbers unprecedented, said that costs would climb over decades.
The United States is expected to maintain a limited military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, when President Barack Obama plans to withdraw combat troops first sent after the September 11, 2001 attacks.