Iraq War Dataset: $506 Billion Spent, 4,002 Dead

iraq.jpgLoretta Hidalgo Whitesides

On March 26, 2008 the United States military casualty count in Iraq hit 4,000. When I heard that I decided to research other numbers associated with the war.

Over the past five years, US taxpayers have spent $506 billion on the Iraq War- that is over $100 billion a year just for war related expenses (and enough to fund NASA for 30 years). According to the cost of the war so far works out to $1,721 per person.

Of the 4,002 US military fatalities, over 100 were women, 145 resulted from self inflicted wounds, and not included in that figure are the journalists and the military forces from other countries.

U.S. Deaths: Self-Inflicted

As reported by the DoD as of 3/1/2008

Self Inflicted Army Navy Marines Air Force Total

The DoD also reports 29,314 military personnel were wounded. I was not able to find data on the number of people who have been “maimed for life,” which would be a subset of that, but that is a number I would like to have as well.

I also found some interesting numbers like our current debt. The Office of Management and Budget thankfully published a PDF with lots of data that has an incredible account of the rise and fall of US budget deficits since the Civil War. They also explain that to understand how large the country’s gross national debt is, you have to know how much they are making a year. Just like to a person who makes $45,000 a year, buying a Lexus would be a large strain, while to a person who makes $900,000 a year only owning money on a Lexus would not be a large strain.

The conclusion? The US debt is at an all time high of $9.4 trillion (in absolute numbers- again not surprising since we have a lot more money then we did in the treasury in 1801). Yet what is troubling is that spending has gone up and the economy (GDP) has been going down. Each year the government, just like many of its citizens, slips further and further into debt (except 1998 the only year since 1969 that the United States did not slip further into debt). Each taxpayers portion of the debt is now at $79,000.

Whether you drive a Lexus or not, that is still a lot of money.

So, that is it. Some more data. Any other numbers you’d wish you heard more about?

[note: I apologize if I appear reductionist. I don’t mean to say that people are just numbers. I do mean to use facts to draw attention to what is some important current affairs.]

U.S. Army Sgt. Bobby Gilbert (left) points out a building to Spc. Jason Collins to watch for suspicious activity while providing security during a medical civic action program in Baghdad, Iraq, on Feb. 29, 2008. Iraqi army doctors and medics are conducting the program to provide free medical care for Iraqi citizens.  DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy, U.S. Army. (Released)