from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2018, Issue No. 54
August 29, 2018

Secrecy News Blog:


"Since September 11, 2001, the Department of Defense (DoD) has obligated $1,500.8 billion for war-related costs."

That's the headline from the latest report to Congress on the post-9/11 costs of war, according to the Pentagon's own reckoning. See Cost of War Update as of March 31, 2018 (FY 2018, Quarter 2):

Independent estimates of military spending that use a broader definition of the term yield a considerably higher total.

The new DoD report provides a detailed retrospective account of post-9/11 military spending, broken down by theater (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria), by fiscal year, and by military service. A copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

The fraction of war-related funds that were appropriated to DoD in the post-9/11 period for classified purposes totaled $88 billion, the report said.

The 76-page DoD report itself exemplifies a certain financial profligacy, with a price tag that is orders of magnitude higher than one might have supposed. "The cost to the Department of Defense to prepare and assemble this report is approximately $209,000 for FY 2018," the document states.


A US Air Force program to acquire "light attack" aircraft is introduced in a new publication from the Congressional Research Service.

"The OA-X light attack aircraft is a small, two-seat turboprop airplane designed for operation in relatively permissive environments." It would give the Air Force "an ability to free up more sophisticated and expensive assets for other tasks."

See Air Force OA-X Light Attack Aircraft Program, CRS In Focus, August 23, 2018:

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court, August 21, 2018:

Supreme Court Nomination: CRS Products, CRS Legal Sidebar, updated August 24, 2018:

Calling Balls and Strikes: Ethics and Supreme Court Justices, CRS Legal Sidebar, August 20, 2018:

Judicial Fact-Finding and Criminal Sentencing: Current Practice and Potential Change, CRS Legal Sidebar, August 24, 2018:

CFIUS Reform: Foreign Investment National Security Reviews, CRS In Focus, August 22, 2018:

Turkey's Currency Crisis, CRS In Focus, August 27, 2018:

MS-13 in the United States and Federal Law Enforcement Efforts, August 20, 2018:

Al Qaeda and Islamic State Affiliates in Afghanistan, CRS In Focus, August 23, 2018:

Hong Kong: Recent Developments and U.S. Relations, CRS In Focus, August 23, 2018:

Trade Remedies: Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, CRS In Focus, August 22, 2018:

U.S. Trade Debates: Select Disputes and Actions, CRS In Focus, August 28, 2018:

Records, Papers, Decisions: Kavanaugh Records and the Presidential Records Act, CRS Insight, August 27, 2018:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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