Posted By Levi
Today marks the end of the U.S war in Iraq. After 10 years a national disaster is finally coming to an end. What a terrible waste of American blood and treasure. Amost 4500 American lives lost and over 32,000 wounded not to mention the tens of thousands of Iraqis who lost their lives to this senseless war.
The following chart from the Congressional Budget Office gives us an idea of the colossal waste of money.
But the final cost of the war for the American people in the long run will be much, much higher. According to the Wall Street Journal, the overall cost will be around $4 trillion in the years to come.
“The direct costs for the war were about $800 billion, but the indirect costs, the costs you can’t easily see, that payoff will outlast you and me,” said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at American Progress.
Those costs include interest payments on the billions borrowed to fund the war; the cost of maintaining military bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to defend Iraq or reoccupy the country if the Baghdad government unravels; and the expense of using private security contractors to protect U.S. property in the country and to train Iraqi forces.
Caring for veterans, more than 2 million of them, could alone reach $1 trillion, according to Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, in Congressional testimony in July.
And even though all our soldiers are withdrawn, you would be wrong to thing that the money drain will end right away.
The United States has built the largest embassy compound in the world in Iraq. According to news report the embassy will employ up to about 16,000 personnel and over 5000 armed guards for protection.
And what does Iraq look like today, 10 years after liberation?
Population of Iraq: 30 Million
Number of Iraqis killed in attacks in November 2011: 187
Percentage of Iraqis who lived in slum conditions in 2000: 17
Percentage of Iraqis who live in slum conditions in 2011: 50
Number of the 30 million Iraqis living below the poverty line: 7 million.
Number of Iraqis who died of violence 2003-2011: 150,000 to 400,000.
Orphans in Iraq: 4.5 million.
Orphans living in the streets: 600,000.
Iraqi refugees displaced by the American war to Syria: 1 million
Internally displaced persons in Iraq: 1.3 million
Have we learned anything from our misadventure in Iraq?
Professor Juan Cole:
. . . the American public still for the most part has no idea what the United States did to that country, and until we Americans take responsibility for the harm we do others with our perpetual wars, we can never recover from our war sickness, which drives us to resort to violence in international affairs in a way no other democracy routinely does.”