How much is the Iraq war costing us? According to one estimate published in 2006 by the National Priorities Project, the war costs about 255 million dollars a day. Today the total cost as calculated by the NPP, is 471 billion dollars.
Estimates of total long-term costs range from 1.2 to 3.5 trillion dollars.
Imagine instead of shipping all those soldiers and equipment and supplies and everything involved in starting the war over there, imagine instead if we had just decided to burn the money up till now. We could have people burning hundred dollar bills on the mall in Washington D.C. We could have had 4 hundred and seventy one billion people ( approximately the entire adult population of the planet) each burn a hundred dollar bill. Or say, if we don’t want that many people in D.C. ( not enough toilets for them all probably) we could have just one thousand people burning hundred dollar bills. Each person would only have to burn 4 million 7 hundred and 10 thousand, hundred dollar bills. If it takes 2 minutes to burn each bill, that would take only about 18 years to get rid of all that money.
So all those people would be alive still, all our soldiers, and all the half million Iraqis who have died as a result of the war. All those soldier, the hundred thousand or so who have lost limbs, eyes, brains, they would be living a normal life today. All the millions of gallons of gas burned in the millions of miles traveled by humvees and strikers and helicopters and all the thousands of trucks transporting all the fuel and supplies, all that gas would be available for us here in the U.S. Our army, wouldn’t be broken, demoralized, and about out of fresh soldiers. Our National Guard would be home, with their equipment to defend the homeland and help in emergencies.
We would be so far ahead of where we are now, and our thousand volunteers could still be merrily burning hundred dollar bills until 2021!
How about Saddam Hussein, though, isn’t it worth it to be rid of him? Well, who knows, maybe his own people might have gotten rid of him by now. Maybe he would have died of a heart attack or stroke. Maybe he would have been struck by lightning. Maybe the Iranians would have taken him on. Maybe he would have kept Iran too busy to work on nuclear research. Maybe the religious extremists, the Shiite crazies and the Sunni fundamentalists wouldn’t be beating up and murdering each other and everyone else in the way.
One thing we can say for sure. We have spent an ungodly amount of money and haven’t received one positive result from it.