Putting aside the enormous "cost" of wars in terms of human life and suffering, what about the economic costs? Once I studied the Vietnam war and Gabriel Kolko in one of his books described how much the Vietnam War cost the US in dollar terms.

So the shortlist: World War One World War Two Korean War Vietnam War Gulf War

To keep it a bit simpler, my question is: which country spent the most money on a war and which war was it? So the shortlist:

United States England Russia Japan Germany Italy

Answers can use wars and countries not in these lists; there are other candidates.

  • 2
    Do you want the financial cost to one country or to many countries in the same war? – Aaron Brick Jul 3 '19 at 16:50
  • How can you compute the economic cost without taking in account the human cost, when such human cost have a major impact on the economy ? Have so much young men dead and so much wounded people has a major impact on the economy, as there is a lack of working force and as such production power. It's impossible to separate both when there's huge deathtoll such as the World Wars. – Bregalad Jul 3 '19 at 17:14
  • Comment deleted for violation of community standards. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 3 '19 at 17:21
  • 1
    Which inflation adjuster, and what kind of purchasing power parity system do you want to use? Those may well determine the answer. – John Dallman Jul 3 '19 at 17:56
  • 1
    Are you only counting costs accrued during the war, or also direct long-term costs? For example, do you count Germany losing the eastern half of its GDP for ~45 years (or vice versa, East Germany losing its western half) part of the costs for WWII? It seems like you'd either need to put so many constraints on this question that the answer becomes trivial, or leave it open-ended and be too broad. – Giter Jul 3 '19 at 18:14

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.