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Iraq War Costs Every American $727. Exceeding Costs of Vietnam War
By Doug Ireland
A stunning new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) shows that the war in Iraq has so far cost every person in the U.S. $727, making the Iraq War the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years. Moreover, the costs of the war and the continuing American occupation of Iraq have exceeded those of the Vietnam war during eight years. Operations costs in Iraq are estimated at $5.6 billion per month in 2005. By comparison, the average cost of U.S. operations in Vietnam over the eight-year war was $5.1 billion per month, adjusting for inflation.
The IPS report, The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops, was written by Phyllis Bennis, Erik Leaver and the IPS Iraq Task Force. Among the report's other findings:
According to current estimates, the cost of the Iraq War could exceed $700 billion. In current dollars, the Vietnam War cost U.S. taxpayers $600 billion.
Staying in Iraq and Afghanistan at current levels would nearly double the projected federal budget deficit over the next decade.
Since 2001, the U.S. has deployed more than 1 million troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Broken down per person in the United States, the cost so far is $727, making the Iraq War the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years. -- The number of journalists killed reporting the Iraq War (66) has exceeded the number of journalists killed reporting on the Vietnam War (63).
The U.S. controls 106 military bases across Iraq. Congress has budgeted $236 million for permanent base construction in FY2005
The impact at home of the Iraq war is considerable, in the burdens it places on both the families of those serving and on the communities in which those families lives. The IPS report notes the heightened costs of domestic security due to the Iraq war: "Roughly 48,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve are currently serving in Iraq—making up nearly 35 percent of the total U.S. forces there. Their deployment puts a particularly heavy burden on their home communities because many are “first responders,