- 1,100,000 excess deaths that are related to war and war conditions
- 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees
- 4,086 deaths among U.S. and coalition soldiers
- 28,093 U.S. soldiers wounded
- $2,500,000,000 U.S. expenditures for current and long-term costs of the war ($2.5 trillion)
After this level of expenditure in blood and treasure, what benefits can we expect from this war of choice -- certainly not a war of necessity, by any criteria? James Fearon, professor of political science at Stanford, writes in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs that, "Of the roughly 55 civil wars fought for control of a central government. . . since 1955, fully 75 percent ended with a clear victory for one side. The government ultimately crushed the rebels in at least 40 percent of the 55 cases, whereas the rebels won control of the center in 35 percent." Power sharing agreements brought an end to hostilities in 16 percent of the cases.
What we see in Iraq today is the matching and contradictory assumption by both the Shiite and the Sunni contingents that their own sectarian group will settle this war through "victory" -- the annihilation of their adversaries.
Under these conditions Fearon concludes that: "U.S. miliary intervention in Iraq is thus unlikely to produce a government that can survive by itself whether the troops stay ten more months or ten more years.
Perhaps the best U.S. response at this point is to bring our troups home and pump our billions of dollars through United Nations programs helping refugees resettle into countries that offer some measure of safety, hope, and dignity.
Has anybody checked on the stock prices of U.S. corporations who are selling goods and services to the Pentagon during these last four years of war? Perhaps they are the only "winners" when it comes to "cost/benefit analysis."