Was the U.S Iraq and Afghanistan War Worth the Cost?
The U.S led Iraq and Afghanistan wars have received praises and criticisms of different measures. The war was fought for almost a decade, starting back in 2003. In the case of Iraq war, the cause of the conflict was suspicion by the United States and United Kingdom that Iraq had in its possession Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that it intended to use in case of war between nations. This was based on the past experience where Iraq had used WMD against Kurds. Despite the fact that an investigation by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) found no evidence of claims that Iraq indeed had WMD, The United States and United Kingdom went ahead and invaded Iraq on the 20th of March, 2003. On the other hand the U.S Afghan war involved the pursuit of the Al Qaeda insurgents and the perceived Afghan government support of this terrorist group. The war had its social and economic effects on both the local citizens and those of United States. There was tremendous loss of life and the cost was mind boggling. It is estimated that approximately between $5 trillion to $6 trillion (Tirman, nd). To make matters worse, there are reasons to believe that this amount may not be the exact figure as some of the funds were misappropriated. Was the loss of human life justified? Did the war serve its purpose, which was to ensure more security to the people of Iraq and America? Was the amount of money used in the war sensible? This paper looks at the implications of the Iraq-Afghanistan war and tries to show that the war was not worth the cost. Implications of the War
Just like any other war, the Iraq-Afghanistan war resulted in loss, both in human life and money. There were an estimated 98,000 deaths in the first eighteen months of the war, 650,000 by the year 2006 and extra 400,000 mortalities by the time the war culminated (Tirman, nd). The U.S government dedicated trillions of dollars to the course, as opposed to 100-200 billion dollars estimate that was made by Lawrence Lindsey, the then President George Bush’s National Economic Council Director (Shah, 2013). Additionally, the trust that other nations had in the U.S deteriorated as they viewed this act as bullying. There have been calls from the nations that opposed the war for a reduction of the U.S’s and U.K’s veto powers as they are seen to be misusing the same. The war did impact a negative cost the United States and its allies including political, economic instability and loss of global trust. Economic Cost-to the U.S
The rough estimations of the cost of the Iraq-Afghanistan war are up to a staggering 6 trillion U.S Dollars. Indeed so hard was the funding the war that the United States had to borrow to up to about 2 trillion U.S Dollars. A report by the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government says that the United States has paid about 260 billion dollars (Shah, 2013). Logically, the amounts being mentioned concerning the war are overwhelming. Taking a look at the state of the United States economy, this debt proved to be a burden to the already struggling economy. So much could have been done with the amount to help the economy of the United States to grow. As at now, the combined debt of the United States adds to trillions of dollars that continue to attract interest. Long after the end of the war, additional costs that are related to the aftermath continuer to pile. These include rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, re-armoring the military, recruiting new soldiers and servicemen and war veteran’s payouts. Various categories of healthcare expenditure continue to cripple the taxpayer. The soldiers who suffered injuries continue being on treatment, which adds to the cost of the war. Some will continue to need lifetime support, like the ones who suffered brain injuries or other related injuries. This means that the government will continue to commit resources through round the clock care, rehabilitation and...
References: Abrams, I., Gungwu, W. (2003). The Iraq War and its Consequences: Thoughts of Nobel Peace Laureates and Eminent Scholars. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
Hinnebusch, R. (2006). The Iraq war and International Relations: Implications for Small States. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 19(3): 451-463.
Stiglitz, J.E., Bilmes L. (nd). The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years after the Beginning of the Conflict. Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11495.htm
Lee, J. (2013, August 17). Iraq Rules Out Special Oil Prices for India. Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from: http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/tag/oil-prices/
The Progressive Review. (2013). Costs of the Iraq War. Retrieved October 4, 2013 from:
Tirman, J. (nd). Iraq: The Human cost. Retrieved on October 4, 2013 from: http://web.mit.edu/humancostiraq/
Norton-Taylor, R. (2013, May 30). Afghanistan War has Cost Britain More than £37 bn. New Book Claims. Retrieved of October 4, 2013 from: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/30/afghanistan-war-cost-britain-37bn-book
Please join StudyMode to read the full document