Iraq War Latest Cost Estimate: Likely $6 Trillion Over Next Four Decades


From Reuters, the costs of heedless empire keep rising and rising:

Marines in Saddams palace DM-SD-04-12222
Photo credit: Lance Corporal Kevin C. Quihuis Jr. (USMC) / Foter.com / Public domain

The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war's death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said….

Excluded were indirect deaths caused by the mass exodus of doctors and a devastated infrastructure, for example, while the costs left out trillions of dollars in interest the United States could pay over the next 40 years.

The interest on expenses for the Iraq war could amount to about $4 trillion during that period, the report said.

The report also examined the burden on U.S. veterans and their families, showing a deep social cost as well as an increase in spending on veterans. The 2011 study found U.S. medical and disability claims for veterans after a decade of war totaled $33 billion. Two years later, that number had risen to $134.7 billion.

And far from being over and done, the CIA has lately been picking up some slack from the U.S. military in our Iraq involvement, helping Iraqis fight Islamist rebels in Syria–just some of them, not the other Islamist rebels who we are helping in Syria. It's all very complicated. There will likely be some good study about the costs of our involvement in Syria to get bummed about a few years from now.