Add In the Mercs
When calculating the size of the Iraq War it is important not to forget the mercenaries (aka contractors) the United States has hired. The total troop commitment, regular army plus mercs, in Iraq now stands at 300,000. Officially, the mercenary death toll has now breached 1,000; total war deaths, including mercs, now exceeds 5,000. This number is low because several contractor deaths (including all of Halliburton's) are not included in the count. The contractors have a financial interest in hiding their death toll because their profits continue only so long as the war continues.
How Can It Cost So Much?
The Iraq and Afghan wars are costing $12 billion a month. That comes to $400 million each and every day. Why so much? There is fraud and corruption that has been going on for years. But, it has come to light recently that a major reason for the cost of the wars has been the fact that the United States has been providing all sides with weapons.
Thirty percent of the weapons distributed to Iraqi forces have "gone missing." That is an elegant euphemism for "been delivered to the insurgents." As of 2005, over 190,000 AK-47s have gone missing; we can safely double that figure. Add in 80,000 pistols, 135,000 pieces of body armor, and 115,000 helmets and the United States has successfully armed a military force the equal of the American forces inside Iraq. That doesn't count the American weapons transfered from Bosnia to the insurgents, or soldiers trading guns for drugs. The market for weapons imported to Iraq by the United States is thriving.
We Have Made Evil Cheap
Prostitutes in Iraq are some of the cheapest in the world. "For one dollar you can get a prostitute for one hour." ~ Army Reservist Patrick Lackatt. The painful story of this young woman is no joke. The army passively encourages the sex trade to boost morale. Of the 2 million Iraqi refugees, 50,000 have had to turn to prostitution. I have discovered no one willing to wage a guess at the number of Iraqi women who have been forced into prostitution inside their homeland but it is certainly hundreds of thousands. The US invasion has made sexual slavery a growth industry in and around Iraq.