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Foreign Policy In Focus » Article / Policy Report

The Quagmire in Iraq

March 4, 2008 ·

Facts and figures on the mounting human and fiscal costs of the Iraq War to the United States and Iraq.

Editor's note: Since 2004, IPS has been tracking the costs of the Iraq War in human and financial costs to the United States, Iraq, and the rest of the world. This latest fact sheet is designed to help bring a full understanding of the devastation of the war. The PDF version of this article http://www.fpif.org/pdf/reports/0803iraqcow.pdf  provides the following information in an easy to read format designed for duplication and popular education.

U.S. military killed in Iraq: 3,973
Number of U.S. troops wounded in combat since the war began: 29,203
Iraqi Security Force deaths: 7,924
Iraqi civilians killed: Estimates range from 81,632-1,120,000

Internally displaced refugees in Iraq: 3.4 million
Iraqi refugees living abroad: 2.2-2.4 million
Iraqi refugees admitted to the U.S.: 3,222

Number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq: 155,000
Number of "Coalition of the Willing" soldiers in Iraq:
February 2008: 9,895
September 2006: 18,000
November 2004: 25,595

Army soldiers in Iraq who have served two or more tours: 74%
Number of Private Military Contractors in Iraq: 180,000
Number of Private Military Contractors criminally prosecuted by the U.S. government for violence or abuse in Iraq: 1
Number of contract workers killed: 917

What the Iraq war has created, according to the U.S. National Intelligence Council: "A training and recruitment ground (for terrorists), and an opportunity for terrorists to enhance their technical skills."

Effect on al Qaeda of the Iraq War, according to International Institute for Strategic Studies: "Accelerated recruitment"

The bill so far: $526 billion
Cost per day: $275 million
Cost per household: $4,100
The estimated long-term bill: $3 trillion

What $526 billion could have paid for in the U.S. in one year:
Children with health care: 223 million or
Scholarships for university students: 86 million or
Head Start places for children: 72 million

Cost of 22 days in Iraq could safeguard our nation's ports from attack for ten years.
Cost of 18 hours in Iraq could secure U.S. chemical plants for five years.

Iraqi Unemployment level: 25-40%
*U.S. unemployment during the Great Depression: 25%
70% of the Iraqi population is without access to clean water.
80% is without sanitation.
90% of Iraq's 180 hospitals lack basic medical and surgical supplies.

79% of Iraqis oppose the presence of Coalition Forces.
78% of Iraqis believe things are going badly in Iraq overall.
64% of Americans oppose the war in Iraq.

What the "Declaration of Principles" has set according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
"A mutually agreed arrangement whereby we have a long and enduring presence."


Erik Leaver
Communications Manager