The Iraq War Cost How Much?!

Depending on how you count, as much as $7.7T
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2013 11:22 AM CDT
In this Tuesday, Nov. 1 , 2011 file photo, U.S. soldiers begin their journey home at al-Asad airbase, west of Baghdad, Iraq.   (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed, File)

(Newser) – How much do you think the war in Iraq was worth, in dollars? Was your figure more or less than $7.7 trillion? Because that's how much the war might end up costing, according to a new study from Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. So far, the government has spent $1.7 trillion on the war, but that's not counting $490 billion in veterans' benefits, which could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next 40 years once interest is added in, Reuters reports.

And that's just the cost in treasure. As for the blood cost, the study estimates that the war killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians, and contributed to the deaths of four times that many people. Add in security forces, journalists, and humanitarian workers, and the number is somewhere between 176,000 and 189,000. The US got precious little in return for its money, the study concluded, adding that the $212 billion reconstruction effort mostly failed, with fraud and waste accounting for most of the spending. (Read more Iraq war stories.)

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