How Much We Really Spent on Iraq

by Ryan on August 22, 2010

in Blogs,Economy,History,Media Bias,Politics,The Iraq Front

Just a few days ago the last combat troops left Iraq putting an end to that phase of the conflict.  On September 1 it even gets a new name, Operation New Dawn.  Last week I repeated an estimate which indicated that the war itself cost roughly $1 trillion to fight.  It turns out I was off by about 30%!

Randall Hoven at the American Thinker has done the math, using the government’s own figures, in response to those who’ve estimated the cost of the Iraq War to be nearly $4 trillion as a way to blame today’s economic crisis on Bush’s war spending and to give cover to Obama’s ridiculous deficits and irresponsible programs.

Turns out the war from 2003-2010 cost about $709 billion, which is still a lot, but not astronomical by today’s standards.  In contrast, the whole Vietnam War cost about $698 billion in 2007 dollars.

Anyway, here are a few highlights from the article to chew on:

  • Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War – more than $100 billion (15%) more.
  • Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.
  • Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.
  • Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.
  • Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame.  The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.
  • The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).
  • During Bush’s Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War.  (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

Please look at the article — it has charts, statistics and history which puts much into perspective and effectively defangs many Lib arguments about war costs.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Matthews March 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Your analysis is criminally negligent. Where is the estimated $400-700 billion in health care and disability benefits for injured veterans? Where is the cost of replacing or refurbishing equipment lost or damaged? What about the interest on all the money borrowed to fund the war, (estimated at over $100 billion), you included it in the deficit and debt numbers but you don’t attribute it to the war?

Even according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money. The CBO estimated that of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq, or $6,300 per U.S. citizen. FYI, the CBO is notorious for under estimating the cost of anything.

Do you think your analysis is better than the CBO’s?


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