Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Cost of Iraq

In my reading I've come across two reckonings of the cost of Iraq, the first at the macro scale, and the second at the micro (human impact) level.

1. The macro view...
 In a post by Matt Yglesias, he discusses an effort to "...tally up the full cost of Iraq—human, financial, and strategic—and discover that the price was very, very, very high."

We certainly have paid a severe price, squandering our nation's blood, treasure, and international moral authority.

Matt's link is to The Center for American Progress, here. From that Center for American Progress post, I found this quote to be most germane.

But when weighing those possible benefits against the costs of the Iraq intervention, there is simply no conceivable calculus by which Operation Iraqi Freedom can be judged to have been a successful or worthwhile policy. The war was intended to show the extent of America’s power. It succeeded only in showing its limits.

2. The micro view....

Per Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars, in her regular weekly feature, the U.S. last week lost nine service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (I also linked to her a week ago, here)

US Army 1LT Salvatore S Corma, 24, Wenonah, NJ
US Army SGT Anthony O Magee, 29, Hattiesburg, MI
US Air Force A1C Austin H Gates Benson, 19, Hellertown, PA
US Army SGT Ralph Mena, 27, Hutchinson, KS
US Army MSG Mark W Coleman, 40, Centerville, WA
US Marines 1st Lt Brandon A Barrett, 27, Marion, IN
US Army SPC Eric M Finniginam, 26, Colonia, FM
US Army SPC Wade A Slack, 21, Waterville, ME
US Marines LCpl Richard R Penny, 21, Fayetteville, AR

According to iCasualties, the total number of service members killed in Iraq is 4,715; in Afghanistan, 1,752. During this same period, Iraq Body Count lists 40 Iraqi civilians killed.

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