Iraq War Will Cost More than World War II

October 28th, 2011

See this post for what winding down the war means:

There will also be 4,000 to 5,000 private State Department security contractors, as well as a significant C.I.A. presence. In Afghanistan, about 95,000 American troops remain.

Via: Christian Science Monitor:

Iraq war, now winding down with US troop exit by December, has cost more than $800 billion so far. But ongoing medical treatment, replacement vehicles, etc., will push costs to $4 trillion or more.

Anyone curious about the cost of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can look it up on, up to the latest fraction of a second. Last weekend, the Iraq war had cost more than $800 billion since 2001; the Afghan war, $467 billion plus.

For the 8-1/2-year conflict in Iraq alone, that works out to nearly $3,000 a second.

So President Obama’s announcement that all US troops will be out of Iraq by year end should mean some drop in ongoing military spending. But the budget relief probably won’t be as much as you might expect.

Tragically, beside the financial cost, there is the human toll. The war in Iraq has resulted in some 4,480 US troops killed and more than 32,000 wounded. (The Iraqis have suffered far more fatalities, about 654,965, according to the British medical journal The Lancet.) Thus, ongoing medical and disability claims and treatment of US veterans will boost the costs of the Iraq war even more.

Throw in the replacement of vehicles, weapons, equipment, etc., and the eventual tab for the United States could reach $4 trillion to $6 trillion, according to University of Columbia economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University budget expert Linda Bilmes.

Research Credit: noncompliant

Posted in Economy, War | Top Of Page

2 Responses to “Iraq War Will Cost More than World War II”

  1. Larry Glick Says:

    The dollar cost is only part of the story and if, in fact, this were the only problem, debt can eventually be paid off. The bigger issue is that we have hundreds of thousands of physically and mentally injured men and women returning to the U.S. Many of these will become cops (a typical job for a military veteran) and prove to be homicidal and abusive on the street. The toll on family violence issues will be immense. We will likely end up with thousands of spouses and children physically and mentally abused by these veterans. No doubt, homicides in the home will be in the hundreds if not thousands.

  2. Crates Says:

    Remember : “Mission Accomplished !!”

    Oh, but of course, “who could have known” how great the costs would become.

    What huge staff of highly paid PhD analysts and planners sitting inside the 5 walls, or wherever it is they sit, could have ever projected this ?

    OR, DID they project this ?

    Is this just more vindication of “Why We Fight”.

    yet, by now, nothing seems more apprpriate than this, by Edgar Allen Poe.

    Hear the loud alarum bells –
    Brazen bells!
    What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
    In the startled ear of night
    How they scream out their affright!
    Too much horrified to speak,
    They can only shriek, shriek,
    Out of tune,
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
    Leaping higher, higher, higher,
    With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now – now to sit, or never,
    By the side of the pale – faced moon.
    Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
    What a tale their terror tells
    Of Despair!
    How they clang, and clash and roar!
    What a horror they outpour
    On the bosom of the palpitating air!
    Yet the ear, it fully knows,
    By the twanging,
    And the clanging,
    How the danger ebbs and flows;
    Yet the ear distinctly tells,
    In the jangling,
    And the wrangling,
    How the danger sinks and swells,
    By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells –
    Of the bells –
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
    Bells, bells, bells –
    In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!

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