Costs of War

The Cost of War

The human and financial cost of the Iraq invasion is enormous – a toll that continues to rise to the present day, on both fronts, as lives continue to be lost and the financial burden continues to be felt.

  • The General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that US forces had expended around six billion bullets between 2002 and 2005, that is at least 250,000 bullets for every insurgent killed in the ‘war on terror.’
  • It was estimated that in a single three-week period of conflict  in Iraq during 2003 nearly 2000 tons of depleted uranium (DU) munitions were used.  (Paul Brown, The Guardian, April 2013)

Between October 2001 and September 2012, the human toll has been (conservatively) estimated at: (Source:  Costs of War Project)

  • 313,000 lives lost – civilians, soldiers, humanitarian workers.

132,000 are Iraqi civilians; 17,400 Afghan civilians; 43,000 Pakistani civilians; 9,500 US military and contractors.

  • Approximately 7,815,000 internally displaced people (Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan).

And the financial cost?

  • To the USA:  Conservative estimates put the economic cost of the Iraq War at $2 trillion (£1.2 trillion). Taking the Afghanistan War and many other hidden costs into account, the total costs of wars is estimated to be $6 trillion (£3.6 trillion) and counting.
  • To the UK: Whitehall figures released in June 2010 put the combined costs of Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts at £20.34bn. However the £20.34billion total does not include the salaries of soldiers or paying for their long-term injuries and mental health care.  The UK has funded its part in the conflict from the Treasury Reserve Fund which is extra money on top of the £35 billion annual defence budget.

For more information, see

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