UK military operations since cold war have cost £35bn

Richard Norton-Taylor, “UK military operations since cold war have cost £34bn, says study,” 23 April 2014, The Guardian

Britain’s military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an authoritative study.

The bulk of the money has been spent on interventions in Iraq andAfghanistan judged to have been “strategic failures”, says the study, Wars in Peace, published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). …

Most of the study’s figures have been collated for the first time from responses to freedom of information requests to the Ministry of Defence. If the material cost of British deaths and injuries in subsequent compensation payments is included, the cost to Britain of military conflicts since 1990 could total as much as £42bn – excluding the cost of caring for veterans.

What the study describes as “largely discretionary” operations – the failed interventions in Iraq from 2003, and in Afghanistan after 2005 – accounted for 84% of the total cost of British military interventions since 1990. The figures are net additional costs of the operations – that is, on top of what the armed forces would have been spending in any case, on running costs such as fuel, training exercises, and salaries. …

Read the full article here.