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225,000 Lives, Over 4 Trillion Dollars – For What?

Posted by Newshoggers.com on June 29th, 2011

From our partners at Newshoggers.com

By Steve Hynd

Not to harsh your Humpday Wednesday but…

A new report out of Brown University estimates that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq–together with the counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan–will, all told, cost $4 trillion and leave 225,000 dead, both civilians and soldiers.

The group of economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists involved in the project estimated that the cost of caring for the veterans injured in the wars will reach $1 trillion in 30 or 40 years. In estimating the $4 trillion total, they did not take into account the $5.3 billion in reconstruction spending the government has promised Afghanistan, state and local contributions to veteran care, interest payments on war debt, or the costs of Medicare for veterans when they reach 65.

Iraq is still muchly a mess. Even now, watchdogs are still issuing reports of illegal detentions, torture while in custody and rampant corruption. Attacks still happen on a daily basis and US soldiers are still dying there. Afghanistan is, if anything, even worse. Neither nation shows any sign of functioning close to pre-invasion par anytime in the next decade. Iran has been strengthened by Iraq's collapse and the people who perpetrated 9/11 found sanctuary and succor in Pakistan. The freedom agenda, bringing democracy at gunpoint, simply didn't happen. It was all so not worth it.

"We decided we needed to do this kind of rigorous assessment of what it cost to make those choices to go to war," study co-director Catherine Lutz told Reuters. "Politicians, we assumed, were not going to do that kind of assessment."

Damn straight.

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