The cost of the war in Iraq

Written By: - Date published: 5:09 am, November 14th, 2007 - 5 comments
Categories: iraq - Tags:


From the BBC: “The US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing nearly double the amount previously thought, according to a report set to be released by Congress”. The Washington post has the full story:

The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts’ “hidden costs”– including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.

That amount is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested to wage these wars through 2008, according to the Democratic staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. Its report, titled “The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War,” estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000.

Click the graphic above for a larger view (originally from the NYT)

5 comments on “The cost of the war in Iraq”

  1. Lee C 1

    I think the real cost of this war will be when the Middle East engages in it first nuclear conflict.


    Surely it cannot be far away – Armageddon, anyone?

    The powers that be have already established tat international law means nothing when it is applied to the Middl East, time and time again. I think (but the memory is faded) it was AJP Taylor in ‘Europe Since Napoleon’ who remarked

    ‘War is just a continuation of domestic policy.’

    Israel has nuclear weaponry, and Iran is getting there…..

  2. ak 2

    No worries Lee, it’s over remember?

  3. djp 3

    The Iraq war is an unnecessary tragedy, a colossal mistake based on a lie (WMD) and quite possibly engaged for financial gain.

    The losers are the general American populace and even more so the Iraqi people many who have lost their lives.

  4. Camryn 4

    The US can’t afford to spend so much on its military without also using its military. The massive arms firms and services (Halliburton etc) firms would collapse if there wasn’t constant demand for materials and war services.

    So, the US Army can’t just sit there. It is always being used. Money just churns out of the public coffers and into the military-industrial complex. Much of it then circulates back into the wider economy, but after enriching the lucky few and with lots of suffering along the way. Horrible system.

    ak – You all know that John Key didn’t mean that there’s nothing going on in Iraq any more. He meant that it’s not a state vs state war any more. Not in the sense that it was when it started. The context was clear.

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    Lee – that’s definitely a possibility. y’see, I think the US and co were clearly wrong in invading, but now they’re in it up to their pit-hairs. If they pull out, there won’t be anything to stop Iran from making some serious overtures towards being the chief power there.

    They’re also possibly stronger than Israel, and I’d put Israel top of any list of ‘nations likely to use nuclear weapons first’. Problematic.

    So, ladies and gents, what could have been done with $1.5 trillion? Instead of……I won’t start detailing the clusterfuck that is the Iraq war.

    Various charities finance micro-enterprises in developing countires. Up to $2000 is given to an enterprise in the form of an interest free loan. These typically result in the employment of five people. Now clearly this wouldn’t work as simply as the math indicates, but $1.5T would provide $2000 for 750 million people. Multiply that by 5 and you’ve employed half the planet.

    Now I know it’s not as clearcut as that in reality, but in the words of R. Plant, it makes you wonder… And it helps to clarify my disgust for the US’ foreign policies.

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