From Reuters, the
costs of heedless empire keep rising and rising:
The U.S. war in ;Iraq ;has
cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed
to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion
over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on
The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have
contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number,
according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for
International Studies at Brown University.
When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian
workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated
176,000 to 189,000, the study said….
Excluded were indirect deaths caused by the mass exodus of
doctors and a devastated infrastructure, for example, while the
costs left out trillions of dollars in interest the United States
could pay over the next 40 years.
The interest on expenses for the Iraq war could amount to about
$4 trillion during that period, the report said.
The report also examined the burden on U.S. veterans and their
families, showing a deep social cost as well as an increase in
spending on veterans. The 2011 study found U.S. medical and
disability claims for veterans after a decade of war totaled $33
billion. Two years later, that number had risen to $134.7
And far from being over and done, the CIA has
lately been picking up some slack from the U.S. military in our
Iraq involvement, helping Iraqis fight Islamist rebels in
Syria–just some of them, not the other Islamist rebels who we are
helping in Syria. It’s all very complicated. There will likely be
some good study about the costs of our involvement in Syria to get
bummed about a few years from now.