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The reckoning: Assessing the economic toll of Osama bin Laden

In 2004, with U.S. forces engaged in two simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Osama bin Laden boasted that he was “bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.” Bin Laden has said he was applying one of the lessons he learned fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s: a small force couldn’t defeat a superpower in head-on combat, but they could bleed that superpower economically.

Bin Laden is now dead, but the economic damage wrought by his 9/11 attack on America continues to spiral upwards. While there’s no way to calculate the emotional toll of 9/11 on the victims’ families (and on all of us), we can consider the financial toll that attack has taken on the U.S. Need to Know economics correspondent Stacey Tisdale provides a tally.

See Need to Know’s full coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden

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