Its an accounting exercise. Bogie has a good insiders view.
I worked on MX / Peacekeeper. Money spent was in the billions with a big B.
50 launchers were filled.
None were ever fired in anger.
They were deployed for a very short time and then decomissioned.
They helped bring down the Soviet Union.
We all "lost money" on them from an accounting perspective but until the recent events, we enjoyed the end of the cold war, the peace dividend and came out far ahead.
The vast majority of movies fail to make a profit. But everyone involved seems to walk away with millions in pay.
Its all accounting.