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Long Term Costs of Iraq War Overwhelming
Estimates Show Veteran Care Costs to Outpace Actual Costs of Combat
November 7, 2007
(Washington, DC) A report released by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) concludes that the mental and social trauma from the Iraq war will be with the U.S. for the lifetime of wounded soldiers. The fiscal costs for health care and disability benefits likely will exceed those for combat activities. Dr. Evan Kanter, a member of the Board of Directors for PSR, prepared the report that details more than $650 billion in long term costs as well as mental disabilities and disruptions to families of returning veterans.
PSR joined Senator Murray and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to release the report and discuss the very significant problems facing returning soldiers. The report was released in advance of Veterans’ Day to elevate the issue of veteran care relative to the Iraq war.
“This report should serve as a wake up for Americans and this administration. While we endlessly debate what we are gaining in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families are falling victim to death, post-war trauma and lifelong struggles with mental and physical wounds as a legacy of this war. The U.S. needs to bring its troops home now,” said Dr. Evan Kanter, author of the report.
PSR Executive Director Dr. Michael McCally added, “I think Americans are becoming aware of the overwhelming financial, physical and emotional toll of this war. We want to thank Senator Murray, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, for helping bring this report to the attention of the U.S. Congress. Hopefully, it will initiate more aggressive efforts toward ending this war and providing appropriate care for veterans.”
Dr. Kanter is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist specializing in posttraumatic stress disorder. He is an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a staff physician with the Veterans’ Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System.
For more information please contact PSR at 202-667-4260. Dr. Kanter may be contacted directly at 206-850-5619.
Click here to view the report.