Numbers update from Iraq and Afghanistan


Four thousand U.S. service members have died in U.S. President George W. Bush’s “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan 5 1/2 years after American forces ousted the Taliban in December 2001.

A total of 3,596 have died in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion that removed Saddam Hussein from power. Some 2,957 of that number were killed in action, according to the latest Department of Defense figures. More than 26,500 personnel have been wounded in that conflict, 11,959 of them so seriously they couldn’t return to duty.

In Afghanistan, 404 American personnel have died, of which 224 were killed in action. Those deaths include 61 personnel who died in Pakistan and Uzbekistan in support of the operation. Some 1,361 have been injured; 813 of them couldn’t return to duty.

Four thousand is a pretty hefty number considering that from most accounts we’ve moved backwards on the issue of terrorism and non-proliferation.

The AP is also reporting that the combined cost of the wars are quickly approaching the amount we spent on Vietnam.

The $12 billion a month “burn rate” includes $10 billion for Iraq and almost $2 billion for Afghanistan, plus other minor costs. That’s higher than Pentagon estimates earlier this year of $10 billion a month for both operations. Two years ago, the average monthly cost was about $8 billion.

Staggering numbers. That’s why it’s imperative that we keep asking whether or not the wars are worth it.


  1. The monetary cost of wars should really be a nonissue. Either we need to be there, in which case we can afford it, or we shouldn’t be there, in which case why are you reduced to bickering over accounting figures to get support to end the war?

  2. Ian

    Cameron makes a valid point. Americans don’t care about fiscal responsibility or the national debt. We don’t pay back our national debt. Until it starts effecting our way of life, no one will say or do anything about it. What’s the average american’s credit debt? Its pathetic now…