As of November 8th, 2013, there have been 58,846 American soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom since March 19, 2013.
How often do you hear that statistic?
The financial cost of the warS to date is approximately $4-6 trillion – the equivalent of $75,000 for every US household. Remember when President George Bush’s National Economic Council Director, Lawrence Lindsey, told “The Wall Street Journal” that the war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion? It is also imperative to recall that the Bush administration had claimed at the very outset that the Iraq war would finance itself out of Iraqi oil revenues, but Washington DC had instead ended up borrowing some $2 trillion to finance the two wars, the bulk of it from foreign lenders. There was no mention of Afghanistan.
Would you believe the current annual cost of keeping a US soldier in Afghanistan is $2.1 million?
Official Pentagon numbers recognize only some of the war dead, however. Uncounted are the many troops who return home and kill themselves as a result of war wounds such as PTSD. The military does not report suicides among non-active duty reservists, and the Department of Veterans Affairs still does not report suicides among all veterans, resulting in dramatic underreporting of the scale of the problem.
So as we honor the military and our Veterans today, can we consider truly honoring them in the future by getting them the hell out of there?