Cost of Iraq War

“If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we’re going to have a serious problem.” — George W. Bush, Jan. 2001.

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Graph shows budget authority for Iraq war in each fiscal year (ending Sept. 30). Data from CRS report RL33110, March 29, 2011

The US budget for Iraq in FY 2007 came to $4,988 per Iraqi. This is triple Iraq’s per-person GDP. It’s like spending $121,000 per person ($484,000 per family of 4) in the US. Why not just bribe the whole country?  (I’m saying how it must seem to Iraqis. Think how it would be if some other planet invaded the U.S. and spent $121,000 per American per year to straighten out our country. We’d say—Just give us the money and we’ll do it ourselves.”). Of course we could not just dump money on them, but there were much better ways to get the job done.

Before the war, White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsay estimated the cost at $100 to $200 billion. So the White House got rid of him and “re-estimated” the cost at $50 to $60 billion. It’s now over $800 billion.
The neocons, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc. were just totally unrealistic. “We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” – Wolfowitz, March 28, 2003.