25 Most Expensive Wars In History

Estimating the costs of war is a dirty business. Sure governments can tell you how much they spent on tanks, but what about rebuilding costs? What about the lives lost? What about the costs to healthcare systems that struggle to help veterans with PTSD many years down the line? There are so many hidden costs to war that there is absolutely no way to put a price tag on any given conflict. Which is why we won’t (at least not entirely). Rather, this list consists of 25 wars that are quasi ranked according to what historians and political scientists would probably say (although they would undoubtedly argue). These are the 25 most expensive wars in history.

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War on Terror

War on TerrorSource: wikipedia/usatoday, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this fight has cost the nations involved a significant amount. In fact, in pure dollar terms some economists have argued that it is one of the most expensive wars to date. It cost the U.S. alone more than $1.6 trillion through 2010.


Mexican Revolution

Mexican RevolutionSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Involving several sides, this armed conflict has been characterized as one of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century.


Panthay Rebellion

Panthay RebellionSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The rebellion of Hui people in China had far reaching effects that rippled throughout the entire region and crippled economies not just locally but also in neighboring nations.


Gallic Wars

Gallic WarsSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Fought by Julius Caesar, these wars included several costly military campaigns that led to Caesar becoming the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.


American Civil War

American Civil WarSource: wikipedia/cironline.org, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

This was hands down the costliest war ever fought on the continent of North America. In pure monetary terms it cost the modern equivalent of $80 billion.

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