Monday, October 24, 2011

Quantifying the disaster that has been the Iraq War


As you probably know, President Obama announced on Friday that U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by the end of the year, effectively bringing the disastrous Iraq War to an end.

How how disastrous? Think Progress's Eli Clifton provides "some relevant numbers": 

8 years, 260 days since Secretary of State Colin Powell presented evidence of Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program 

8 years, 215 days since the March 20, 2003 invasion of Iraq 

8 years, 175 days since President George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln 

4,479 U.S. military fatalities 

30,182 U.S. military injuries 

468 contractor fatalities 

103,142 – 112,708 documented civilian deaths 

2.8 million internally displaced Iraqis 

$806 billion in federal funding for the Iraq War through FY2011 

$3 – $5 trillion in total economic cost to the United States of the Iraq war according to economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Blimes 

$60 billion in U.S. expenditures lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 

0 weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq

But it's been such a blast, eh?

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Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, predictably trying to score a few political points by wading into an issue he knows nothing about, is saying that Obama's decision reflects an "astonishing failure."

It's not the first time Romney's gotten it all wrong -- and utterly backwards. If it's "failure" he's looking for, he need look no further than Obama's predecessor.

Simply, it was time to go -- long past time. There was never going to be an ideal time, but the president, who has been typically cautious with respect to withdrawing U.S. troops (perhaps too cautious), finally ended the disaster he inherited.

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Although, the war isn't actually coming to an end. A new phase is set to begin.

Good times.

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