Costs of War Project

First released in 2011, the Costs of War report has been compiled and updated by more than 30 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists as the first comprehensive analysis of over a decade of wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.  The Costs of War Project analyzes the implications of these wars in terms of human casualties, economic costs, and civil liberties.

The Costs of War Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, scholarly initiative based at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.  All of the research group's papers to date are posted on this site, with further research findings to be posted in the coming months.

Further information is available from Project co-Directors Catherine Lutz (Catherine_Lutz@brown.edu), Neta Crawford (nccrawford@earthlink.net), and Andrea Mazzarino (andreamazzarino@gmail.com). 

Project Directors

Neta C. Crawford is Professor of Political Science at Boston University. She is the author of Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America's Post-9/11 Wars (Oxford University Press, 2013). Crawford is also the author of two books, Soviet Military Aircraft (1987) and Argument and Change in World Politics (2002), named Best Book in International History and Politics by the American Political Science Association. She has written more than two dozen peer reviewed articles on issues of war and peace. Crawford has served on the governing Board of the Academic Council of the United Nations System, and on the Governing Council of the American Political Science Association.

Catherine Lutz is the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of Anthropology and International Studies at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. In 2013, she received a Guggenheim Foundation grant to write a book on the ways in which Americans across diverse communities understand war and its consequences. Lutz is the author of numerous books on the US military and its bases and personnel, including Breaking Ranks (with M. Gutmann, 2010), The Bases of Empire (ed., 2009), and Homefront: A Military City and the American 20th Century (2001), and a co-founder of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists.  She has also conducted research on UN peacekeeping in Haiti, Liberia, and Lebanon. Lutz is past president of the American Ethnological Society, the largest organization of cultural anthropologists in the US.  

Andrea C. Mazzarino received her Ph.D. in anthropology and demography from Brown University in 2010. She is currently a researcher in Human Rights Watch's Europe & Central Asia Division, where she focuses on disability and children's rights.

Communications Director, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

Sarah Baldwin-Beneich has been communications director at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies since 2012.  Prior to joining the Institute, she was for 12 years director of communications of Brown's Division of Biology and Medicine, overseeing print and electronic communications for Alper Medical School, the Program in Biology, and the Public Health Program. 

Contributors: 

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her publications include We Are Iraqis:  Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War (2013, edited with Deborah Al-Najjar), What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (co-authored with Nicola Pratt, 2009); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007), amongst many other publications about women and gender in the Middle East. She is also a founding member of Act Together: Women's Action for Iraq.  With the support of UN Women and Open Society Foundations, Nadje is currently helping to coordinate the first ever Iraqi shadow report of the UN Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), in addition to various capacity building projects of Iraqi academics and women’s rights activists. 

Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University.  A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his Ph.D. in American diplomatic history from Princeton.  He is the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010), The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008), and The New American Militarism:  How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005), among other books. 

Chantal Berman recently received her B.A. from Brown University with degrees in International Relations and Middle East Studies. She has conducted research on Iraqi refugee policies in Syria and Lebanon. Berman works as an Assistant Producer at Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon.  She is currently pursuing her PhD in Politics at Princeton University.

Linda J. Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, is a leading expert on U.S. budgeting and public finance.  Bilmes was Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton administration.  She is co-author (with Joseph Stiglitz) of the New York Times bestseller The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (2008).  She has written extensively on the cost of war and veterans’ issues, including "Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: The Long-term Costs of Providing Veterans Medical Care and Disability Benefits” (2007).  Bilmes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Melani Cammett is Associate Professor of Political Science and a faculty associate at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Cammett's new book, Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon (Cornell University Press, 2014), explores how politics shape the distribution of welfare goods by ethnic and sectarian organizations. Cammett has also published scholarly articles in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, World PoliticsStudies in Comparative International DevelopmentComparative Politics, and World Development, and a co-edited book, The Politics of Non-State Welfare (Cornell University Press, 2014), among other publications.

Anita Dancs is Assistant Professor of Economics at Western New England University.  She writes on the military and the U.S. economy, and the economics of war.  She has been interviewed extensively by national media including appearances on CNN, CNBC, and Marketplace, and her research has been covered by the Washington PostNew York Times, and Associated Press amongst others.  She was research director of the National Priorities Project, and has been a staff economist with the Center for Popular Economics for more than 15 years, making economics more accessible to the general population. 

Omar Dewachi is a physician from Iraq and a medical anthropologist, currently an Assistant Professor of Public Health at the American University of Beirut. In 2008, he graduated from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology.  Dewachi has worked on Iraqi medical doctors, their role in the formation of the Iraqi state, migration to the UK and integration in the British National Health Service (NHS). Dewachi’s current research is on war injuries and patients seeking health care outside Iraq.

Ryan D. Edwards is Assistant Professor of Economics at Queens College, a member of the doctoral faculty at the City University of New York, and a faculty research fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research.  His studies focus on the interrelated causes and consequences of health, mortality, and economic well-being.  

Cynthia Enloe is Research Professor at Clark University (Massachusetts) in the Program of Women's and Gender Studies and the Department of International Development, Community and the Environment (IDCE). She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.  Among Enloe’s books are Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (new updated edition, 2014); The Curious Feminist(2004); and Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007), Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War (2010).  Enloe’s latest book is Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered (2013).

Matthew Evangelista is President White Professor of History and Political Science and former chair of the Department of Government at Cornell University, where he teaches courses in international and comparative politics.  He is the author of five books: Innovation and the Arms Race(1988); Unarmed Forces: The Transnational Movement to End the Cold War (1999); The Chechen Wars (2002); Law, Ethics, and the War on Terror(2008); and Gender, Nationalism, and War (2011). He is the editor of Peace Studies, 4 vols. (2005), and co-editor of Partners or Rivals? European-American Relations after Iraq (2005); New Wars, New Laws? Applying the Laws of War in 21st Century Conflicts (2005); and Democracy and Security(2008).

Brendan M. Fischer is Staff Counsel with the Center for Media and Democracy. He graduated from Wisconsin Law School in 2011. Prior to law school, he worked for a music publicist and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural community in El Salvador.

Phillip Gara is a filmmaker with the Global Media Project at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He was an associate producer on the documentary Human Terrain, directed shorts including Virtuous War, Disastrous Horizons, The Military Industrial Complex...50 Years Later, and is currently directing a feature documentary, Project Z.

Heidi Garrett-Peltier holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on the employment impacts of public and private investments, particularly those that support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Through quantitative analysis and qualitative research, Heidi analyzes policies and programs to advance low-carbon transportation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. She has written and contributed to a number of reports on the clean energy economy, and is the author of the book, Creating a Clean-Energy Economy: How Investments in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Can Create Jobs in a Sustainable Economy.  Heidi has developed a quantitative methodology that has been used extensively by the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass and other researchers to estimate the impacts of military spending on various domestic programs, including infrastructure investments, military spending, clean energy, education and healthcare.  She has served as a consultant with the U.S. Department of Energy, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and various other organizations.

Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy.  She has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate and House on national security issues.  Graves’ former leadership posts include serving as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy/Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice; Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts; Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee; Senior Legislative Strategist for the ACLU; and Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies.  She has also appeared as an expert on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, National Public Radio, Air America, Pacifica Radio, and in the major US dailies.

Hugh Gusterson is Professor of Cultural Studies and Anthropology at George Mason University, where he teaches and conducts research on militarism, public anthropology, the politics and culture of nuclear weapons, and ethics.  He has done fieldwork in the United States and Russia, where he has studied the culture of nuclear weapons scientists and antinuclear activists.  He is the author of People of the Bomb (Minnesota, 2004), and Nuclear Rites (UC Press, 1996), and co-editor of The Insecure American: How We Got Here and What We Should Do About It (University of California Press, 2009), Why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong (UC Press, 2005), and Cultures of Insecurity (Minnesota, 1999).  As well as writing for scholarly journals, Hugh has a regular online column for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and has published in numerous newspapers and magazines.  Hugh is currently working on a book entitled Weaponizing Culture.

William D. Hartung is director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  He is an internationally recognized expert on the arms trade, nuclear policy, and military spending.  Hartung is the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex (2011), the co-editor of Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War (2008), and And Weapons for All (1995).  Hartung’s articles on security issues have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostLos Angeles TimesThe Nation, and the World Policy Journal.  He has been a featured expert on national security issues on CBS 60 Minutes, NBC Nightly News, the Lehrer Newshour, CNN, Fox News, and scores of local, regional, and international radio outlets.

Sarah Hautzinger is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Colorado College. Her research emphasizes the institutional processes related to violence at transnational, state, and interpersonal levels. With Jean Scandlyn she co-authored Beyond Post-Traumatic Stress: Homefront Struggles with the Wars on Terror (2014) and “A Better Way to Deal with PTSD (2014).”

Jennifer Heath is an independent scholar, curator, award-winning activist and cultural journalist, author/editor of twelve books, including Children of Afghanistan:  The Path to Peace (co-edited with Ashraf Zahedi, UTexas Press, 2014), Land of the Unconquerable: The Lives of Contemporary Afghan Women (with Zahedi, UCalifornia Press, 2011), The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics (UCalifornia Press, 2008), and A House White With Sorrow: A Ballad for Afghanistan (1996).  She founded Seeds for Afghanistan and the ARO Midwife Training and Infant Care Program. Touring exhibitions include, Water: Paean to a Vanishing Resource and The Map is Not the Territory: Parallel Paths-Palestinians, Native Americans, Irish.

James Heintz is Associate Research Professor and Associate Director at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has published widely on employment, economic policy, labor standards, international trade, clean energy, and human rights.  He has worked with the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Development Program, the UN Research Institute for Social Development, and the Economic Commission for Africa.  Part of his work has involved examining the relationships between economic policy and social and economic rights in conjunction with various human rights organizations.

Alison Howell is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University - Newark.  Her research explores the politics of medicine in global affairs, with a specific focus on mental health, security, and global governance.  She is the author of Madness in International Relations: Psychology, Security and the Global Governance of Mental Health (Routledge, 2011).  She has also published in the areas of gender and foreign policy, the politics of detention, mental health reform in Iraq, and the recent turn to resilience in Western militaries.  Among Alison’s latest publications are “Afghanistan’s Price” (Literary Review of Canada, 2012) and “The Demise of PTSD:  From Governing Trauma to Governing through Resilience” (Alternatives).

Dahr Jamail is an award-winning author and a journalist with Al-Jazeera English.  He spent nine months in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 as one of the few unembedded, independent US journalists in the country reporting on the Iraq war and its human costs.  In early 2012, Jamail reported for Al-Jazeera television from Baghdad and Fallujah and wrote feature stories for Al-Jazeera’s website.  He has also reported from Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, following Iraqi refugees as well as other conflicts in the region. Jamail’s stories have additionally appeared via Inter Press Service, Le Monde DiplomatiqueThe GuardianThe Independent, and The Nation, among others.  He has appeared on the BBC, NPR, and Russia Today.  He has received the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards.

Ken MacLeish is Assistant Professor at the Center for Medicine, Health and Society and the Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community (Princeton University Press, 2013), an ethnography exploring the everyday experience of war for soldiers, military families, and other military community members. His current research examines how politics and morality shape ideas about soldier suicide and military behavioral health.

Megan K. McBride is currently working on her Ph.D. in Religious Studies, focusing on religious violence and terrorism, at Brown University. She has an M.A. in Liberal Arts from the Great Books program at St. John's College, and an M.A. in Government from John Hopkins University where her thesis led to an article on the psychology of terrorism ("The Logic of Terrorism: Existential Anxiety, the Search for Meaning, and Terrorist Ideologies", Terrorism and Political Violence, 2011).

Robert Miller is an Associate Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Vanderbilt University.  He was the principal investigator in a project evaluating service members with exercise limitation following service in Iraq and Afghanistan (“Constrictive Bronchiolitis in Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” New England Journal of Medicine, 2011).  He is now collaborating with other institutions and governmental agencies to further characterize the disorder and define appropriate compensation for those affected.

Norah Niland has spent much of her professional life with the United Nations, both in the field and at United Nations headquarters in New York, on humanitarian, human rights, and development issues in crisis and transition environments. During her last UN assignment, Norah was the Director of Human Rights in UNAMA (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for HR (2008-2010) when the HR team monitored the 2009 Presidential election. Currently, Norah is a Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Nicola Pratt is Associate Professor of International Politics of the Middle East at the University of Warwick, UK. She is co-author of What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009) and co-editor of Women and War in the Middle East (2009), both with Nadje Al-Ali. Her current research is on gendering the politics of insecurity in the Middle East. 

Jean Scandlyn is Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Health and Behavioral Sciences and Anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver. A medical anthropologist, she also holds a master’s degree in nursing. She is co-author (with Sarah Hautzinger) of Beyond Post-Traumatic Stress: Homefront Struggles with the Wars on Terror (2014).

Mac Skelton is a PhD student in anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. His research has focused on how Iraq's ongoing cancer crisis is understood by Iraqi families seeking cancer care abroad. While completing an M.A. in anthropology at the American University of Beirut, he conducted fieldwork at a Beirut hotel where hundreds of Iraqi cancer patients have lodged over the past few years due to the war-related deterioration of medical care in Iraq.   

Jessica Stern is a Fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the FXB Center for Human Rights at Harvard University. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  She served on President Clinton’s National Security Council Staff, and as an analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.   She is a member of the Trilateral Commission and of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Zeeshan Usmani holds a PhD and MS in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology and is a former Fulbright Scholar and Eisenhower Fellow. He is the founder of PakistanBodyCount – the running tally of drone and suicide attacks in Pakistan. He also collates aggregate medical statistics on injuries among suicide bombing and IED blast victims. Dr. Usmani is working on two books on suicide bombings and drone attacks in Pakistan. Currently he is the CEO of Go-Fig Solutions, which focuses on technologies for protecting the lives of common citizens. Dr. Usmani’s work has been cited in the Wall Street JournalAOL NewsWired MagazineNPR, MIT’s Technology ReviewFlorida Today, and The Economist He lives in Islamabad with his wife and three children.

Winslow T. Wheeler is Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, based at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC.  He is the author of The Wastrels of Defense (2004) and Military Reform (2007), and the editor of the anthology The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You through It (2011) and the 2008 anthology, America’s Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress (2009).  From 1971 to 2002, Wheeler worked on national security issues for members of the U.S. Senate and for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  In the Senate, Wheeler advised Jacob K. Javits (R-NY), Nancy L. Kassebaum (R-KS), David Pryor (D-AR), and Pete V. Domenici (R-NM).  He was the first and last Senate staffer to work simultaneously on the staffs of a Republican and a Democrat.

Zoë H. Wool is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University.  She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with grievously injured US soldiers and their families living at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as well as at other military sites in the US and abroad. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles about the ongoing effects of war in soldiers’ lives. Wool’s monograph, Emergent Ordinaries: The Weight of Life at Walter Reed, is under contract with Duke University Press (forthcoming, 2015).

Bassam Yousif is Associate Professor of economics at Indiana State University.  He regularly presents and has written extensively on the economic development and political economy of the Middle East, concentrating on Iraq. His work has led to policy consulting and numerous invited lectures.  Yousif's book on the development history of Iraq, Human Development in Iraq, 1950-1990, was published by Routledge in 2012.  His current research centers on the political economy of revolt in the Arab world. 

We would also like to thank Joseph Grady at Cultural Logic for his consultations on this website. Research assistance on the project was also provided by Dr. Kathleen Millar, and Brown University students Sujaya Desai, Sofia Quesada, Hannah Winkler, and David Granberg.  Thanks also to Christina Rowley for her assistance in helping establish the Eisenhower Research Project.  Deborah Healey provided expert administrative assistance.  Additionally, we would like to thank our Web Design Assistant, Maxime Long, for his hard work maintaining and developing the site.

 

Board Members, Eisenhower Research Project
Christian Appy, University of Massachusetts
William Astore, Pennsylvania College of Technology, USAF (Ret.)
Andrew Bacevich, Boston University, USA (Ret.)
Aaron Belkin, University of California, Los Angeles
Peter Burgess, Peace Research Institute, Oslo
Carol Cohn, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
Deborah Cowen, University of Toronto
Neta Crawford, Boston University
Anita Dancs, Western New England College
Tom Engelhardt, The Nation Institute
Cynthia Enloe, Clark University 
Sabine Fruhstuck, University of California, Santa Barbara
Henry Giroux, McMaster University
William Hartung, New America Foundation
Elizabeth Hillman, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Michael Klare, Hampshire College
Michael Sherry, Northwestern University 
J. Ann Tickner, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
David Vine, American University
Rachel Woodward, Newcastle University
Marilyn Young, New York University