From a Nick Kristof column in today's NYT:
We have, so far, sunk $640 billion into Afghanistan and more than $800 billion into Iraq — all told, according to my calculation, more than $12,000 per American household.
Imagine if those sums had been spent on, say, early childhood education in America. Or on getting more kids through college. Or on global education: About 1 percent of the total sunk in Iraq and Afghanistan, if instead spent annually on schooling around the world, would allow every child worldwide to complete primary school, ending global illiteracy.