Renegade Editor’s Note: This is just using the numbers that the government gives us; it does not take into account black budget projects and the $21 trillion missing from DoD and HUD. Even Forbes admits the absurd amount of unaccounted for money:
While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.
This March marked the 16th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
In 2003, President George W.Bush and his advisers based theircasefor war on the idea that Saddam Hussein, then dictator of Iraq, possessed weapons of mass destruction — weapons that have never been found.Nevertheless, all these years later, Bush’s “Global War on Terror” continues — in Iraq and in many other countries.
It’s a good time to reflect on what this war — the longest in U.S.history — has cost Americans and others around the world.
Put another way: Since 2001, every American taxpayer has spent almost$24,000on the wars — equal to the average down payment on a house, a new Honda Accord, or a year at a public university.
As stupefying as those numbers are, the budgetary costs pale in comparison with the human toll.
As of 2015, when the Costs of War project made its latesttallies, up to 165,000 Iraqi civilians had died as a direct consequence of U.S.war, plus around 8,000 U.S.soldiers and military contractors in Iraq.
Those numbers have only continued to rise.Up to 6,000 civilians were killed by U.S.-led strikes in Iraq and Syria in 2017 –– more civilians than in any previous year, according to the watchdog groupAirWars.
In addition to those direct deaths, at leastfour timesas many people in Iraq have died from the side effects of war, such as malnutrition, environmental degradation, and deteriorated infrastructure.
Since the 2003 invasion, for instance, Iraqi health care hasplummeted— with hospitals and clinicsbombed, supplies of medicine and electricity jeopardized, and thousands of physicians and healthcare workers fleeing the country.
Meanwhile, the war continues to spread, no longer limited to Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria, as many Americans think.Indeed, the U.S.military is escalating a shadowy network of anti-terror operations all across the world — in at least76 nations, or 40 percent of countries on the planet.
Last October,newsabout four Green Berets killed by an Islamic State affiliate in the West African nation of Niger gave Americansa glimpseof just how broad this network is.And along with it comes all the devastating consequences of militarism for the people of these countries.
We must ask: Are these astounding costs worth it?Is the U.S.accomplishing anything close to its goal of diminishing the global terrorist threat?
The answer is, resoundingly, no.
U.S.activity in Iraq and the Middle East has only spurred greaterpolitical upheavaland unrest.The U.S.-led coalition is seen not as a liberating force, but as anaggressor. This has fomented insurgent recruitment, and there are nowmoreterrorist groups in the Middle East than ever before.
Until a broad swath of the American public gets engaged to call for an end to the war on terror, these mushrooming costs — economic, human, social, and political — will just continue to grow.