The Iraq War Cost: 190,000 Lives, $2.2 Trillion

 Reckoning the costs of the Iraq WarMore than 70 percent of deaths from direct war violence have been civilians. That does not include indirect deaths from disease or injury suffered in conditions degraded by war. Credit: Kevin Holden for U.S. Army

Reckoning the costs of the Iraq War More than 70 percent of deaths from direct war violence have been civilians. That does not include indirect deaths from disease or injury suffered in conditions degraded by war. Credit: Kevin Holden for U.S. Army

Reuters is reporting that the cost of the Iraq War is on track to exceed $6 trillion when the price tag for the benefits and care for war veterans is taken into account:

The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

The Costs of Wars Project at Brown University published in advance of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Among the group’s main findings:

  • More than 70 percent of those who died of direct war violence in Iraq have been civilians — an estimated 134,000. This number does not account for indirect deaths due to increased vulnerability to disease or injury as a result of war-degraded conditions. That number is estimated to be several times higher.
  • The Iraq War will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers at least $2.2 trillion. Because the Iraq war appropriations were funded by borrowing, cumulative interest through 2053 could amount to more than $3.9 trillion.
  • Th $2.2 trillion figure includes care for veterans who were injured in the war in Iraq, which will cost the United States almost $500 billion through 2053.
  • The total of U.S. service members killed in Iraq is 4,488. At least 3,400 U.S. contractors have died as well, a number often under-reported.
  • Terrorism in Iraq increased dramatically as a result of the invasion and tactics and fighters were exported to Syria and other neighboring countries.
  • Iraq’s health care infrastructure remains devastated from sanctions and war. More than half of Iraq’s medical doctors left the country during the 2000s, and tens of thousands of Iraqi patients are forced to seek health care outside the country.
  • The $60 billion spent on reconstruction for Iraq has not gone to rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, health care, and water treatment systems, but primarily to the military and police. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has found massive fraud, waste, and abuse of reconstruction funds.

You can read a summary of the Costs of War report HERE. The full findings have been posted online at Costs of War.org to initiate public discussion on the Iraq War.

 

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4 Responses

  1. A enorm balance on terms of lives. this the real problem, as financial problems may be solved, on time. but o Iraq terrorism has really been won or has only changed habit’ this ot for sacrifices of our troops have not served but as situation is very articulate and difficult. but we may not increase the live balance and ask:How may we solve the problem and neutralize a risk potential terroristic induced situation? claudio alpaca

  2. Can argue whether is was just or not…The bottom line is the Iraqi people are better off with Hussein and his sons out of the picture. I’ve seen a complete turn around from 2005 to 2009 then i was there! Any life lost is a sad life lost indeed and war is never cheap!

  3. […] Costs of War project through Brown University reported that the cost of the Iraq War was more than 190,000 lives and […]

  4. […] The Iraq War Cost: 190,000 Lives, $2.2 Trillion (offthebase.wordpress.com) […]

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