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Posts Tagged: iraq

ShortFormBlog: The Department of Defense can't account for a crapload of Iraq War spending


  • $2 billion of DoD’s Iraq War spending unaccounted for (oops) source

» Audit time! With the Iraq War’s chapter effectively closed, now’s apparently a good time to look back at all the money we spent there. There’s a problem, however: Of the $3 billion the Iraqi government set aside for…

Source: shortformblog

The Political Notebook: How We Talk About War: Financial vs. Moral Language


  • Thomas Friedman says he has… “nothing but regret for the excessive price that America and Iraq have had to pay in lives and treasure.”
  • Mitt Romney says… “The decision to pull our troops out [of Afghanistan] before that, they believe, would put at risk the extraordinary investment of…
Source: thepoliticalnotebook


Old, but great. Bill Clinton v. Fox News

Sweet jesus I do love Bill Clinton

(via reallyfoxnews-deactivated201110)

Iraq War Facts and Statistics


  • About $900 billion of US taxpayers’ funds has been spent or approved for spending through November 2010. $9 billion of this money is lost or unaccounted for, as per ABC News.
  • Congressional Research Service puts the cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq as $390,000
  • As of Nov 30, 2010, there were a total 47,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. All other Nations have withdrawn their troops.
  • As per The Washington Post, there were more than 180,000 Private Contractors in Iraq in August 2007
  • 4,439 US troops have died
  • 32,033 troops have been wounded, 20% of which are serious brain or spinal injuries. 
  • 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems within 3 to 4 months of returning home
  • 147 Journalists have died in Iraq (14 of them by US Forces)
  • 9,830 Iraqi soldiers and police officers have died
  • A UN issued report dated Sept 20, 2006 stating that Iraqi civilian casualties have been significantly under-reported. Casualties are reported at 50,000 to over 100,000, but may be much higher. Some informed estimates place Iraqi civilian casualties at over 600,000.
  • The unemployment rate in Iraq is between 27% to 60%
  • In 2007, 28% of Iraqi Children were suffering from Chronic Malnutrition (as per CNN)
  • Average Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 5.6 in May 2007. Pre-War Daily Hours Baghdad Homes Have Electricity - 16 to 24 
  • 82% Iraqis are “strongly opposed” to presence of coalition troops

For more information on Iraq War statistics:The Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index

(via stfuconservatives)

Source: mohandasgandhi


A few notes on Obama’s address tonight:

  • the tip of the hat to Bush was classy, if not called for. Hopefully it’ll appease the GOP to some degree, and it was a nice anecdote of military support.
  • I appreciate the detail he went into on the removal of American presence from Iraq, militarily at least. Out by the end of next year, troops there now ordered to help smooth the transition, etc. Having it laid out was refreshing.
  • "We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people –a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization"/clapclap. Persevered might be putting it into too absolute of terms, but never the less..
  • "But, as was the case in Iraq, we cannot do for Afghans what they must ultimately do for themselves.. The pace of our troop reductions will be determined by conditions on the ground, and our support for Afghanistan will endure. But make no mistake: this transition will begin – because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s." A statement on basic Afghan strategy was much needed, and this summed it up nicely. It is not our job to police the world. It is our job to protect our own interests while providing some level of humanitarian aid through properly allocating our resources and influence. I think the timelines in Afghanistan will be adhered to much more so than the Iraq ones have been.
  • Obama’s acknowledgement of the economic situation being of our making was good, and the recognition of it being a true priority was also good. His optimism about the situation came off as slightly nieve, but it his job to look towards a bright light in our future; a light that he has to tunnel towards and lead us to. I liked his mention of a quality education being vital to the success of our economy, and how education reform has been put aside for too long.
  • "Our troops are the steel in our ship of state. And though our nation may be travelling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true, and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead." Classy ending, very indicative of his outlook. If nothing else, the man can give one hell of a speech.
  • Overall, while the speech was lacking detail, the pragmatism and movement towards innovation and conflict resolution was in line with how I think we should be moving forward. To see a transcript of the speech, go here:


As of today, the last combat troop brigade has been removed from Iraq. Over the last 18~ months, 90,000 American soldiers have been removed, leaving only about 50,000. Obama released a statement on the matter, saying “As Iraqi Security Forces take responsibility for securing their country, our troops will move to an advise-and-assist role. And, consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, all of our troops will be out of Iraq by the end of next year. Meanwhile, we will continue to build a strong partnership with the Iraqi people with an increased civilian commitment and diplomatic effort.” 

It’s the last sentence that’s the kicker. I understand how foolish it would be to withdraw enteirely right now, given the state of affairs in the region and how we would appear internationally for doing so. However, I would like to see total withdrawal on a quicker timeline.  Gen. David Petraeus did a damn good building local partnerships and encouraging friendly relations (thank him for our newly restored hegemony fund), but the ill will in Iraq for America still abides. Speeding our departure seems a wise thing to do, given all the facts. We’ll see how the timeline plays out, hopefully successfully.