The cost of destroying Iraq for 30 years

I think these three headlines sum up the situation pretty effectively. (links are here, here and here)

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“Given how polarized the country is on so many other issues, it is striking how unified Americans are on ending our endless wars in the Middle East, prioritizing domestic concerns over foreign ones, and avoiding greater military engagement in conflicts overseas,” Will Ruger, vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute, said in a statement to The Hill.

The 1990-91 Gulf War was a bargain, costing just $61.1 billion ($52 Billion paid by our allies) and just 292 coalition troops killed.
Of course, 25,000–50,000 Iraqi troops were killed, plus another 3,664 Iraqi civilians killed, but it's not like furriners are real people like 'Muricans.
However, this was the most expensive bargain in history because it set up everything to come.

For over 12 years following the Gulf War we maintained an active no-fly zone over Iraq.
By active, I mean we dropped over 1,800 bombs that killed more than 1,400 civilians and an unknown number of Iraq's military, just to enforce the no-fly zone that wasn't sanctioned by the UN.
The estimated, unofficial cost of this was around $1 billion per year.
2 Blackhawk helicopters were shot down by friendly fire, killing 26 troops.

In addition to all the bombs we dropped enforcing the no-fly zone, there is the 1993 cruise missile strikes, the 1996 cruise missile strikes, and the massive 1998 bombing campaign.
The total cost of these three is unknown, but is certainly in the millions of dollars.
No US troops died during these operations, but thousands of Iraqis did.

Starting in 2003 and lasting until 2011 we have The Catastrophe.
In 2013 the total cost of the Iraq War was estimated at $1.7 trillion by the Watson Institute of International Studies, but that doesn't include legacy costs.
4,507 U.S. troops were killed, plus hundreds of coalition soldiers, plus 1,554 private security contractors. Not to mention the tens of thousands of soldiers that were wounded.
Estimates of Iraqi deaths start at 100k and go up to, and over, 1 million.

Then we have a 2.5 year gap where we only messed with Iraq from afar. Over two years of not dropping bombs on Iraq must have been strange.

In mid-2014 we got back to bombing Iraq.
Total cost of defeating ISIS was $14.4 Billion.
It also took the lives of 69 U.S. soldiers.
Around 70,000 Iraqis died.

So basically we spent $2 trillion, sacrificed 5000 US soldiers, and killed roughly 1 million Iraqis, to accomplish nothing except to make us hated by the world.

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But Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator.

That covers the other side of the story. Just want to keep it fair and balanced.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

edg's picture

@fire with fire

tried to kill Dubya's Daddy!!!!!

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Bisbonian's picture

@fire with fire When it was convenient to have someone that would fight Iran for us. Eventually, though, they all go stale. Pinochet, Marcos, Diem, Noriega, all the rest. Then we rescue the world from their evil doing.

And there was much rejoicing.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

gulfgal98's picture

Linda J. Bilmes of Harvard has been doing a study of the true costs of our wars. In 2013, Bilmes estimated that the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would end up costing the United States somewhere between $4 and $6 trillion. Most estimates of the cost of war do not take into consideration these long term costs that continue to be incurred long after the wars are over. I personally suspect that these two wars alone will end up costing the American people more than $6 trillion.

In my four and a half years with the local Peace vigil which ended in mid 2016, I used the figure of $3.5 trillion as the estimated cost of these two wars when talking to people who stopped by our Peace vigil. The longer these wars continue, these costs will rise exponentially.

I am also linking a pdf file of Bilmes report which was written in March of 2014. https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2013/The%20Fin...

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

WMD, 911, Yellowcake, baby incubators, mushroom clouds, Abu Gahrib, Mobile bio weapons labs, Gitmo, Dixie Chicks!!! Why do you hate America?

That's it, I'm going back to Orange Satan land where they drink Kool Aid all day and shuffle their feet. I'm sick of reality!

Somebody please shoot me. Thank you.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

I thought the official term was "Fiasco".

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Pluto's Republic's picture

...for this monstrous atrocity of destruction and murder?

What do you think is a fitting punishment to settle the score?

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mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Pluto's Republic NUREMBERG II: Judgement Day.

The people - my generation, in particular - NEED to be able to see that the global rule of law CAN be made to work.

Withdraw ALL military aid from the KSA and probably Israel as well; see how long they last.

Liquidate Morgoth, reallocate its assets not only to the ravaged Middle East and Africa, but ALSO to the American communities and subcultures it has preyed on as soldier-farms for so long; show them where their common interests really lie.

Make sure the Neocons are spoken of ever after in the same tones as the Nazis.

We did it before; we can do it again (and better).

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

That has been made impossible.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@TheOtherMaven Either way, it's what needs to happen.

The laws and legal infrastructure exist; they need only be enforced.

If none presently charged with enforcing them will do so, then those who will, can.

If that fails, the guilty all have names and addresses.
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4 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

mimi's picture

I just wait til the powers to be invent the "new, progressive math" that will prove that all of it was worth while.

I see great advantage in beng a dumbfuck for good. So I aim at being one.

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4 users have voted.

Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

Bisbonian's picture

I was actually first in. No, I'm not particularly proud of it, looking back on it.

I lead a flight of 5 KC-135s*, with 10 F-117s, each with 2 2000lb bombs, 6 F-15s and 2 EF-111s, for jamming of enemy radar and signals. January 17th, 1991, no moon.

I had no idea that we would be there 30 years later.

And No, Mimi, it definitely was not worthwhile.

*not technically a combat airplane, but I was carrying 200,000 lbs of JP-4 (jet fuel), and supplemental armament of two S&W Police Special .38 revolvers.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X