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Taxing Wars book cover

Taxing Wars

The American Way of War Finance and the Decline of Democracy

Sarah Kreps

This book asks a crucial question: why have the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq lasted longer than any other in US history? The answer lies in two key factors that have allowed these conflicts to continue almost unnoticed for years. Firstly, advancements in military technology have lessened the apparent burden of war on American citizens. Secondly, the ways in which the US pays for its wars have changed, eroding accountability and contributing to the phenomenon of perpetual war. This book traces the history of how America has paid for its wars, from war taxes to contemporary borrowing, and argues that the latter undermines the basis for democratic restraint in wartime.
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One can argue that the shift from conscripted to volunteer militaries has reduced the reluctance among the citizens who know they will never have to fight. Kreps tackles the treasure part of this equation, and reaches some sobering conclusions.      fuente