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The Cost of War: Real Numbers, Real Losses
(Photo: Flickr/STML)

The Cost of War: Real Numbers, Real Losses

The War in Iraq has ended, the War in Afghanistan continues on, and the War on “Terror” will never end because that’s just not possible.

8 years. 9 months. 41 countries. 700 thousand soldiers, 25 million inhabitants at invasion.

5 thousand U.S. troops, 30 thousand Iraqi soldiers, and an (under)estimated 860 thousand civilians, killed, murdered, deceased, dead.

32 thousand Americans, 90 thousand Iraqis, and 1.5 million civilians, injured, wounded, disabled, disfigured.

500 thousand tons of ordinance dropped by year 2005 (1.6 million dropped in Europe during WWII). 394 billion dollars of damage dealt. 27 years of Iraqi economic progress robbed, lost, denied, deprived.

15.6 billion U.S. and taxpayer dollars, lost, stolen, unaccounted for. 20 billion dollars paid to KBR (former Halliburton). 20 billion dollars annual army Air-conditioning bill. 4 dollars a gallon at the pump for the rest of us.

10 thousand (peak) Iraqi prisoners Saddam-era, upwards of 50,000 (peak) Bush-era—70-90% innocent. 2 thousand images of prisoner abuse, torture, rape, censored. 400 thousand war logs leaked evidencing U.S. war crimes, iniquity, injustice, 0 prosecutions.

50 calls per month to the Domestic Violence Hotline for military spouses before the war began, 500 per month after it began, the irony.

2.7 million Iraqis internally displaced. 2 million refugees externally displaced in Syria, Jordan. 100,000 refugees return—87% unable to feed their families.

15-39% Iraqi Unemployment rate (8.6% U.S. rate). 15% veteran unemployment rate. 28% of Iraqis with part-time jobs.

40% of Iraqis without access to clean water. 28% of Children suffering from malnutrition. 63% of Iraqi homes without proper sewage.

34 thousand doctors in Iraq pre-war, 16 thousand post-war—average yearly salary, 5 thousand dollars. 40% of professionals flee the country. 30% of students attend class.

63 billion dollars awarded for the rebuilding of Iraq. 1.2 billion dollars requested for minimal rehabilitation of the university system. 7.5 million dollars allocated. 0 dollars substantiated.

3.7 trillion dollars spent, being spent, and to be spent on this war.

0 Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction found. 0 connections with 9/11 validated, 0 connections with Al-Qaeda corroborated.

74% of Americans fooled, deceived, mislead. 60% Acknowledge it. 67% Regret it.

No steps in the Honest direction. Hardly any in the Right direction. Countless many in the Wrong direction.

This is, was, and will be the legacy of Operation “Iraqi Freedom”.

The American people are no better off than they were before the war, they’re worse off.

America is no “safer” than it was before the war, it’s more susceptible.

The international view of America is no more favorable than it was before the war, it’s less favorable.

Iraq and its people have been unjustifiably punished by American policy for the last 20 years. And now, they’re right where they were left 15 years ago.

Disposing of one supposed evil (Saddam) by way of a great, reprehensible evil is not a thing noble. The ends do not justify the means.


About Asmar Ghani


  1. No matter what side you are on about the war, the numbers prove the grave result of this war. Thank you Asmar for displaying the numbers as they are, they really go a long way without the convoluted nature of immense wordiness.

  2. Thanks Asmar for your hardwork in researching all this.

  3. Wow! “860 thousand civilians” that is a huge number. All for what? This was a huge moral, economic, military mistake.

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