Saturday, January 26, 2008

The real cost of the occupation

By Libby

Cernig has another must read up at Newshoggers. Thanks to an FOIA request, we have some hard numbers from the Pentagon on the human toll of Bush's folly. These numbers can't be repeated enough.
The US has suffered more than 72,000 battlefield casualties since the start of the war on terror in 2001, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

The query by the campaigning Veterans for Common Sense organisation shows that 4372 American soldiers have died and another 67,671 have been wounded in action, injured in accidents or succumbed to illness in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The veterans' group had to force the US Defence Department to release the figures by persuading judges to uphold their FoI rights.

A second request to the Veterans' Administration, the government-funded body responsible for taking care of ex-servicemen and women, showed 263,909 soldiers with experience of the two 21st-century wars have so far received treatment for everything from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the aftermath of amputated limbs.

It also showed 52,375 veterans had been diagnosed with PTSD and 34,138 have received approval for disability claims for the psychological disorder. As of October 31 last year, 1.6 million Americans have been deployed overseas since 2001.

Harvard University estimates the cost of caring for Iraq and Afghan veterans over the next 40 years will amount to between £125bn and £350bn, depending on the long-term effects of trauma.
You won't read this in the US media. This comes from Scotland and note those figures are in pounds. I don't know the exchange rate but I assume you can double those amounts and the figures represent the vets currently in the system. As Fogg pointed out, even now Bush is busily trying to ensure the occupation never ends so those costs will be compounded indefinitely if we stay for the 100 years that McCain merrily counts as an acceptable timetable.

I don't find that acceptable on any level myself.

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4 Comments:

Blogger nolocontendere said...

I like it that you call it an occupation rather than "war", which implies completely different circumstances, but is intoned endlessly.

2:25:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I haven't called it a war in years. Nobody should. It just plays into the White House frame.

10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

the US military in iraq is the 38th largest consumer of oil in the world

10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Interesting stat Lester. I wish you had a link for that.

5:47:00 PM  

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