Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi announced to his parliament on Sunday that inspectors had uncovered 50,000 non-existent soldiers in four divisions of the Iraqi Army. Their pay was presumably being diverted to the officers in the division. This ziggurat of corruption was one reason the army collapsed on June 9, allowing Daesh (what Arabs derisively call ISIL) to take Mosul.
The officers had many thousands fewer men than they claimed, and those they did actually have were damned if they were dying so the corrupt officers could go on with their double book keeping.
The Bush Administration spent something like $800 billion in direct costs on the Iraq War, including $20 billion for rebuilding the Iraqi Army after viceroy Paul Bremer abolished . . . the Iraqi Army in 2003. When health care for wounded veterans over their lifetimes is figured in, some suggest the war will have cost trillions of dollars. It is not clear what the US received from that investment. Not security. The Baghdad government is de facto allied with Iran. And the Obama administration has deemed Daesh so much a threat to US national security that President Obama felt it necessary to send the Air Force back in to bomb the country in 2014!
The Bush senior administration bombed Iraq in 1991, and the Clinton administration bombed it in 1998. So, in other words, invading and occupying the country seems to have had very little impact on whether it represents a threat to US security in Washington’s eyes, or whether the US feels the need to bomb it..
The $800 bn was largely wasted or stolen. If you want to find it, get a shovel and dig around in back yards in Fairfax County, to which ex-US officials and contractors involved in looting both countries tend to retire.