The idea of comparing the cost of the war in Iraq with the money spent on science research in the United States has crossed my mind a few times in recent months, so I finally looked it up. Brace yourselves. The US is spending the equivalent of the annual National Science Foundation budget every two weeks fighting the war in Iraq (about 6 billion dollars). In total, the war has cost us the equivalent of 100 years of NSF funding.
The NIH budget is substantially higher than the NSF budget. It takes two months of Iraq war to spend the annual NIH budget.
The war cost referenced here is just the upfront cost of counting the war. It does not count the backend costs of retooling the military, taking care of our wounded and killed soldiers, and the negative impact on our economy. Sources estimate these costs double the true cost of the war.