Updates on national politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON
NATION POLITICS ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

This is our look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington:

Inauguration

Fact check: Did the U.S. really spend 'trillions and trillions of dollars' overseas?

"We've defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay," President Trump said Friday in his inaugural address .

It’s unclear exactly what figures Trump was referring to, but finding an exact cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is difficult. Independent researchers have pegged the cost in the trillions of dollars, while other estimates have been more modest.

Over the past 15 years, the U.S. government has directly appropriated around $2 trillion to fight the wars, but that doesn’t include other costs, such as humanitarian funding and services for veterans after they return home.

A 22-page study by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs published in September put the total cost at $4.79 trillion.

The authors acknowledged that the figure is “so large as to be almost incomprehensible."

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