The Whole Story: Thousands Of Deaths And Trillions Of Dollars

Total Of 4,409 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Iraq, 31,927 Wounded And Injured During Operating Iraqi Freedom. According to statistics from the Department of Defense, 4,409 U.S. soldiers died in Operating Iraqi Freedom between March 19, 2003 and August 31, 2010. 31,927 soldiers were wounded in action. [Department of Defense, accessed 6/11/13]

At Least 190,000 Total People Killed As A Result Of The War. According to Foreign Policy, “190,000: The minimum documented number of people killed in the war. The majority of those killed in Iraq since 2003 have been civilians. The dead also include 4,488 U.S. soldiers, and up to 3,400 U.S. contractors and nearly 11,000 Iraqi police, 318 allied military, and 62 humanitarian workers. But while the numbers of U.S. soldiers killed is known, Catherine Lutz of Brown University shows that we still don’t know the full extent of contractor deaths and injuries. And, as Neta C. Crawford from Brown University discusses, there are disagreements about how many civilians have been killed directly by violence because documented deaths may be a fraction of the actual number of people killed. Further, it is likely that many more have died as an indirect result of the devastation of Iraq’s physical and health care infrastructure.” [Foreign Policy, 3/20/13]

Iraq War Resulted In 1.24 Million Internally Displaced Persons And 1.6 Million Refugees. According to the Christian Science Monitor, “The [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] says the war resulted in 1.24 million internally displaced persons and more than 1.6 million refugees.” [Christian Science Monitor, 12/17/11]

Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Will Cost An Estimated $4 Trillion To $6 Trillion. According to the Washington Post, “The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher. Washington increased military benefits in late 2001 as the nation went to war, seeking to quickly bolster its talent pool and expand its ranks. Those decisions and the protracted nation-building efforts launched in both countries will generate expenses for years to come, Linda J. Bilmes, a public policy professor, wrote in the report that was released Thursday.” [Washington Post, 9/5/10]

Bush Fired Economic Advisor Who Predicted War Would Cost $200 Billion. According to The Atlantic, “A little over 10 years ago, George W. Bush fired his economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, for saying that the total cost of invading Iraq might come to as much as $200 billion. Bush instead stood by such advisers as Paul Wolfowitz, who said that the invasion would be largely ‘self-financing’ via Iraq’s oil, and Andrew Natsios, who told an incredulous Ted Koppel that the war’s total cost to the American taxpayer would be no more than $1.7 billion.” [The Atlantic, 3/29/13]

Iraq War Spending Was “Off The Books.” According to the New York Times, “Mr. Bush said in his speech on Thursday that the Defense Department budget today represented slightly more than 4 percent of gross domestic product, compared with more than 6 percent in some years of the Reagan administration and as much as 13 percent in 1952-3, when the United States was engaged in the war in Korea. But the war in Iraq is largely being paid for off the books, with emergency and supplemental spending rather than from the Pentagon’s operating budget, so Mr. Bush’s figures are a low estimate of the relative cost of the war, analysts have observed. And growing entitlement costs today make such comparisons with previous eras questionable.” [New York Times, 4/14/08]

Iraq War Spending Not Included In Annual Budgets Nor In Budget Deficit Estimates. According to Government Executive, “The Bush administration, with Congress’s cooperation, has insisted on paying for the Iraq war through supplemental spending bills. The funding is not included in the president’s annual budgets or, in most cases, in the congressional budget resolutions, and it is considered separately from the regular appropriations bills. The money is not counted in the budget deficit estimates that the administration routinely releases. Nor is it counted against any budget caps that Congress has set for itself to abide by throughout the year.” [Government Executive, 4/21/06]