The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan

Submitted by tnjp on October 19, 2010 - 12:50pm.

Tom Hayden
The Peace Exchange Bulletin

The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan

The White House and Pentagon worry about the political costs if the American people learn the true costs of Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of casualties and taxpayer dollars.

These costs are the main factors driving 58 percent of the American public, including over 70 percent of Democrats and a majority of independent voters, to question whether these wars are justified.

It seems unbelievable, and certainly unconscionable, to keep these facts smothered in fog, when they need to be communicated in every blog, every leaflet, every speech given by anti-war activists.

The Costs of Iraq and Afghanistan.pdf

Here are the best estimates that have been hidden from the public:


· US soldiers' deaths under Bush [2001-2008] in Afghanistan: 630[i]

· US soldiers' deaths under Obama [2009-Oct. 2010] in Afghanistan: 693[ii]

· Total US soldiers' deaths in Afghanistan: 1,323[iii]

· Total US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan: 5,748[iv]

· Total US contractor deaths from 09.01.01 through 09.30.10 30: 2,400[v]

· Total US soldiers wounded in Afghanistan: 8,530[vi]

· Total US soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan: 40,464[vii]

· Total US contractors wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan: 44,152[viii]

· Total US military suicides during 2001-2009: 1,985[ix]


· Direct costs/month in Iraq: $12.5 billion[x]

· Direct costs/month in Afghanistan $16 billion[xi]

· Total direct cost, Iraq: $737.5 billion[xii]

· Total direct cost, Afghanistan: $354.4 billion[xiii]

· Total projected direct and indirect costs, Iraq: $3 trillion+[xiv]

· Total projected direct and indirect costs, Afghanistan: $1 trillion+[xv]

[i] A. iCasualties. 12 Oct. 2010.

B. DoD Personnel & Procurement Statistics. Statistical Information Analysis Division. 12. Oct. 2010.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] United States of America. Department of Defense. OIF/OND/OEF U.S. Casualty Status. 10 Oct. 2010.

[v] United States of America. Department of Labor. Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP). "Defense Base Act Summary By Employer." 12 Oct. 2010.

[vi] United States of America. Department of Defense. OIF/OND/OEF U.S. Casualty Status.

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Schooner, Steven L., and Collin D. Swan. "Contractors and the Ultimate Sacrifice." Service Contractor September 2010: 16-8. 10 Oct. 2010.

[ix] Christenson, Sig. "Military is Battling Alarming Suicide Rate." The Houston Chronicle 10 Oct. 2010.

[x] Stiglitz, Joseph, and Linda Bilmes. United States of America. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. The True Cost of War. 3 Oct. 2010.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] The Cost of War. National Priorities Project. 10 Oct. 2010.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] "The Three Trillion Dollar War." Stiglitz, Joseph and Linda Bilmes. The Times 23 Feb. 2008: Times Online. 10 Oct. 2010.

[xv] Obama estimates $113 billion in direct costs/per year at current U.S. troop levels of 100,000. If those troop levels are halved by 2013, then the direct costs will remain over $50 billion/per year. An additional three years would therefore cost at least $200 billion more. Using the Stiglitz/Bilmes methodology for measuring indirect--accrual--costs, such as veterans' health care and benefits, interest payments, etc--would add hundreds of billions in long-term costs, making Afghanistan another $1 trillion dollar war.

*All data accurate as of October 12, 2010.

Published by Tom Hayden, The Peace Exchange Bulletin is a reader-supported journal, critically following the Pentagon's Long War in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, as well as the failed U.S. wars on drugs and gangs, and U.S. military responses to nationalism and poverty around the world.

h/t to marstans on the Florida for Peace list

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Costs of War Sidebar

Submitted by tnjp on October 23, 2010 - 10:32pm.
In case y'all didn't notice, TNJP has a Costs of War block in the left column of every page, and below in this comment....
Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <b> <br> <strike> <center> <i> <img> <u> <blockquote> <em> <strong> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web and e-mail addresses are automatically converted into links.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
More information about formatting options