I was reading one of my favorite bloggers… Frankly Speaking, and he, being the good Republican patriot, was railing against the many people who support the bill being pass around washington of late… a bill providing new war funds while setting a timeline for the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from Iraq. In essence, it is a fund being created to pay for a timely withrdrawl from Iraq.
Now I love Frank to death… the guy pulls no punches and believes strongly in God and Country. He may think more often with his heart than his head, but that doesn’t make him wrong. It just makes him much more human than a lot of people I tend to run with. We differ on just about all topics to some degree, but that doesn’t mean I can’t truly appreciate Frank for what he brings to the table. He has long supported both the Bush presidency and the war against terror and the war in Iraq (I separate them because they are not the same thing… one is justified and a direct result of 9/11 and the other isn’t justifiable or a direct result of 9/11). Let me first say that I really don’t have a problem with the war in Iraq. Even the way the US managed to start the war doesn’t really bother me… bigger lies have been told throughout time. I don’t even mind the fact that the bush presidency has driven a wedge so firmly between the American people, that the population of the United States is aguably more divided now than at any time during the civil war…
No, the only real thing that bothers me about the war is that the money being spent will saddle future generations with a tab so high, it may never recover. As it stands, China could call in its markers and bankrupt the US treasury in a New York Minute. Does this sound like sound economic planning? Let’s break it down for the slow kids. I am a bottom line kind of guy.
Cost of the war so far: (estimate) $420,308,950,134 (and that number grows by about $200 million per day)
But what do we measure it against? Since there isn’t a readily tangible benchmark that illustrates the success or the failure of the war machine, we have to choose something that is more easily proven, or verified at least… enemy kills. For the sake of this piece though, I am not distinguishing between “good” iraqis and “bad” iraqis, or really even “iraqis” since at this point a good number of the people actually dying IN COMBAT are probably not even Iraqi… (thats just how good this war is! So much fun, neighboring enemies are jumping into the fray!) So, all kills are considered… If I didn’t and only used the numbers of provable enemy combatant kills, the numbers would just be much much worse. So.. total number of “Iraqis” killed in the war by direct contact with the US military…
Number of Iraqis (arguable) Killed: (estimate) Low 62417, High 68428
Cost per kill: (estimate) $6,733,885.80
Think about that for a second… let that number roll around in your head for a bit… like a fine wine, it can’t be appreciated if you rush it. Granted, my math is simple, it uses numbers readily available on the Internet and as such, they may be grossly inflated or grossly under-estimated, but still… if we allow for a swing of +/- $2 million, the numbers are still staggering. Everything to me is based on Return of Investment. If I invest x into z, I want my return to be vastly higher if not at least break even… right, aren’t we all like that? Don’t we want to see that the money we spend is being spent responsibly and that we are assured of getting value for value? So, if we view the war as something that can be “won” either by a announcement of surrender by enemy combatants or by killing ALL the enemy until there are no shots fired, the cost of the war can be summed up simply as costing roughly $7 million per kill… so far. So to anyone who thinks the war is not only justified, but worth it… please stop whatever you are doing and enroll in a consumer math class at your local high school.