Iraq War Ends

Iraq is now an “independent, free and sovereign” country according the the US Government which, for eight years, eight months, and twenty five days, has occupied the nation with a massive military presence.

The war officially ended this morning at 5:15 AM eastern time (1:15PM in Iraq) at a quiet ceremony.

All the troops are coming home before Christmas1.

4,487 US troops were killed and about 30,000 wounded. As usual, the number of others killed and wounded is in dispute and seems more a matter of politics than reality, despite the fact that they are actual people. More than 100,000 Iraqis were killed according to the Washington Post.

The total cost of the war was approximately $800,000,000,000. That’s less than $3,000 per person in the US, which isn’t bad, stretched out over several years, for a major war.

The Iraqis are very appreciative of the efforts. In Falluja, the site of one of the most significant battles in the early days of the war, thousands of Sunni Iraqi’s took to the streets and burned flags of Israel and the US.

Sectarian violence is expected to flare up soon after US troops have left.

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1Except the ones that aren’t.

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2 Responses to Iraq War Ends

  1. Art says:

    “The total cost of the war was approximately $800,000,000,000.”

    I suspect that the total cost is actually closer to twice that amount. There are a lot of real-world costs that don’t get billed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. One of them is the long term cost of maimed soldiers. Modern medicine can often save soldiers blown up but their maimed bodies, and especially their maimed brains (TBI), often means they never recover. A twenty-year-old soldier with severe TBI can be expected to live his natural lifespan, about ninety, but will require nursing care 24/7/365. With intensive nursing care, rehabilitation, and periodic corrective surgery the quality of life can slowly improve but many of these soldiers will always need intensive medical care from a team of healthcare professionals. Costs can easily break a million dollars a year initially and roughly half that every year after that. Lifetime support for a single soldier can total 20 to 40 million dollars over seventy years according to some accounts. And that doesn’t scratch the surface of our obligation of supporting their families. Billions more.

    Then there is the hidden cost of PTSD and the myriad mental health issues. Many of which will require long term treatment. Some of which keep the soldier from being employed and supporting their families. It is our duty as a nation to fill the gap.

    Also left out of most calculations is the cost of refitting and reconstituting the units deployed in Iraq. A lot of equipment has not been replaced. Billions more.

    Then there is the sunk costs of things we could have done with the money spent and the lost productivity of soldiers who left civilian jobs behind.

    The all-in cost of the Iraqi invasion and occupation is estimated by some as being closer to two trillion dollars.