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« PHOTO OF THE DAY - Modern Warfare | Main | WAKE UP AMERICA! - The Real U.S. Budget Problem: Defense & War Spending Equal 94% Of All Federal Income Tax Revenues »

Iraq War Ends With A $4 Trillion IOU

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dick.


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The nine-year-old Iraq war has come to an official end, but paying for it will continue for decades until U.S. taxpayers have shelled out an estimated $4 trillion.

Over a 50-year period, that comes to $80 billion annually.

Although that only represents about 1% of nation’s gross domestic product, it’s more than half of the national budget deficit. It’s also roughly equal to what the U.S. spends on the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency combined each year.

Near the start of the war, the U.S. Defense Department estimated it would cost $50 billion to $80 billion. White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was dismissed in 2002 after suggesting the price of invading and occupying Iraq could reach $200 billion.

“The direct costs for the war were about $800 billion, but the indirect costs, the costs you can’t easily see, that payoff will outlast you and me,” said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at American Progress, a Washington, D.C. think tank, and a former assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan.

Those costs include interest payments on the billions borrowed to fund the war; the cost of maintaining military bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to defend Iraq or reoccupy the country if the Baghdad government unravels; and the expense of using private security contractors to protect U.S. property in the country and to train Iraqi forces.

Caring for veterans, more than 2 million of them, could alone reach $1 trillion, according to Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, in Congressional testimony in July.

Other experts said that was too conservative and anticipate twice that amount. The advance in medical technology has helped more soldiers survive battlefield injuries, but followup care can often last a lifetime and be costly.

More than 32,000 soldiers were wounded in Iraq, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Add in Afghanistan and that number jumps to 47,000.

Altogether, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost the U.S. between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, more than half of which would be due to the fighting in Iraq, said Neta Crawford, a political science professor at Brown University.

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Reader Comments (16)

Firstly, the USA should have appropriated Iraqi oil to pay for the full cost of the war...
Secondly, the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency could all be abolished..
Thirdly, abolish the DEA, DOE, FDA, NLRB, NOAA, The Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Civil Service Labor unions and eliminate all congressional benefits not readily available to the ordinary private taxpayer..
Dec 19, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom Jefferson
I second the motion of Tom Jefferson. The official military is out of Iraq but don't forget the "contract players," like Murky Water, Dirty Water and Black Water (under a different name now, most likely).............Leo M.
Dec 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo McCormick
@Tom Jefferson, please put down your crack pipe!!! "Firstly, the USA should have appropriated Iraqi oil to pay for the full cost of the war"
Did the Iraqis ask America to invade or Israhell whored out America to invade? But again I do believe one of Saddam's quotes" When America Invades Iraq it will be the beginning of the end of America economically speaking !
Dec 19, 2011 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterFalesteeni
Good. Remember, 90% of Americans were all gung-ho about attacking Iraq and refused to listen to those who were proving the war propaganda was based on lies. So, "patriotic" dupes, enjoy your NeoCon-caused poverty. As Ross Perot once said. "You wanna know what's wrong with this country? Look in the mirror."
Dec 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin
The USA should appropriate the cost of this war out of the bank accounts of the people that LIED us into it. Starting with Dick Cheney and working our way down the neo-con hierarchy.
Dec 19, 2011 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterFliteShare
Viewed singly, the images of these two douchebags is repugnant enough already. But when viewed standing TOGETHER however, the effect can only be described as NAUSEATING.
Dec 19, 2011 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterOccupyTheGallows
There still are 4 multibillion dollar fortresses in Iraq full of American troops and Operation Phoenix veteran death squads. It ain't over. The picture of the two ''satan's little creatures' should tell you two things. ONE: You can't trust either of them, and TWO: The dark one was given a lobotomy so he would ALWAYS do what the other one told him to. Drugs and satanic or clinical operant conditionong would NOT provide such a blank soul. I think 1979, Connecticut. B.O. would not know.
Dec 19, 2011 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
Did you catch--if Bagdad misbehaves "maintaining military bases in Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to defend Iraq or reoccupy the country if the Baghdad government unravels" Enough said--USA is evil terrorist state--worse than the worse Israel.
Feb 2, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterjojo
"the USA should have appropriated Iraqi oil to pay for the full cost of the war..."

How about the Chinese and Russians come and 'appropriate' your house and rape your wife?
Feb 2, 2013 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Magoo
kick the zionist traitors out of all nodes of power and out of America. their usuary, fraud and corruption have wiped us out.
Feb 3, 2013 at 2:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterbrgr
So it will cost 80 billion per year for 50 years. Question? Does that include interest?

I distinctly remember when asked under oath in front of Congress what the upcoming war would cost and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield replied "$20 billion for the first year, $20 billion for the second year and if there is a third year....(pause, Rumsfield turns around and looks at his number cruncher accountant, nods his head and then says) "if there's a third year $21 billion". Now lets suppose he told the truth and blurted out "the war with Iraq will cost the United States 4 Trillion dollars"...do you think any Congressman would have agreed to sending us to war?
Feb 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe in JT
I was stuck in my old house and had no cable for a week, so we watched old VHS tapes. It was very funny because we watched 10 year old network news propaganda about hidden weapons of mass destruction and whining about global warming. One of the funniest things was Bush's chief economist, Larry Lindsey, being fired for saying that the Iraq War might cost $200 billion.
Feb 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMiguel Grande
"Begging to differ", Tom Jefferson and Leo McCormick would rather the Chinese and Russians had good cause to invade the U.S. so they, themselves could be chivalrous and be raped. Bruce Lee and Sun Tzu always said, "Attain the moral high ground" before engaging in battle. The U.S. had no legal grounds to invade Iraq. Congress pranced and mewled and conga lined for treats like circus poodles and neglected to consider the situation and alternative ideas whatsoever. They just signed the paper, set up a sexual molestation facility at every airport, like Bush41 Bush43 dreamed of, and abused the armed forces for personal gain. Then they sat back and laughed at videos of people being physically violated, with no recourse. FliteShare found the ONLY practical legal avenue to rescue America's foreign relations and begin correcting for the decadence and carnage wrought by the past several executive administrations.

Obama, like I mentioned above in December of 2011, behaves as if he was lobotomized. See the 'This is Your Life, Francis Farmer' video on Youtube and see the flat line 'everything is O.K.' interview. In the early 1960s, a parent could have their child lobotomized in California. Obama uses the exact same 'Sinatraesque suave and debonaire' delivery EVERY TIME he gives a speech. Then he lies and reverses policies for his controllers on command. Project Monarch. Homework time.
Feb 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoward T. Lewis III
And to think, so many people thought the money to pay for the war was hiding somewhere behind the deficit...
Feb 4, 2013 at 1:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Yeah those white westerners will pay any price to control global oil supply. Saddam Hussein and Al Queda are a convenient excuse to wage a war of conquest with high tech weapons against impoverished people.
Feb 7, 2013 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Maw
2,000,000 Iraqis dead, 4 trillion in the hole, America's standing dragged through the gutter, mass erosion of U.S. civil rights. That's what illegal wars get you. But we can avoid such man-made calamities in the future IF we prosecute those responsible. The U.S. must apply international laws of war upon U.S. leaders and remand most of the Bush administration, among several others including Democrats, to the International Criminal Court to face indictments for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Feb 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephan Larose

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