Neta C. Crawford, Professor and Chair of the BU Department of Political Science and a Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellow, recently appeared on WGBH’s Greater Boston and on WNYC’s The Takeaway, where she discussed the Washington Post investigative series revealing how the Bush and Obama administrations misled the public about widespread failures in the war in Afghanistan.
“If you look at the promises that were made in Afghanistan and also in Iraq — that these wars would be quick, controllable, effective at eliminating the militants. Those promises couldn’t be met because if you look at past wars — let’s say the War of 1812, the Civil War, the 1899 invasion of the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea — every war we go to we think that we’re going to win quickly, that it will be cheaper than the alternatives, that it will be effective, and that’s never been the case,” Prof. Crawford said in her Greater Boston interview. “I think that we’ll still be paying for these wars 10, 20, 30 years from now. That’s one consequence — we need to figure out how to pay for the wars since we’ve been doing it on a credit card … And more civilians are dying this year probably than in any previous year.”
The Washington Post investigation comes on the heels of a pair of major new reports led by Prof. Crawford finding that the post-9/11 wars have cost $6.4 trillion and as many as 801,000 lives since 2001.
The reports were part of the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, which Prof. Crawford co-founded in 2010 to explore the human, financial, environmental, social, and political costs of the post-9/11 wars. In October 2019, the Pardee Center launched a new collaboration with the Watson Institute called 20 Years of War: A Costs of War Research Series to expand the project with a new set of analyses to mark the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the post-9/11 wars.
Watch the full Greater Boston segment above. Listen to the full The Takeaway interview here.