The $3 Trillion Dollar War — Stiglitz & Bilmes Were Too Modest
One of the greatest uncounted US losses in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been the mental damage to the young people who have been exposed to the violence and brutality of our war. The recent Wikileaks release of the young people killing Iraqis as if they were playing video games is a case in point.
The number of suicides offers additional evidence.
Maze, Rick. 2010. “18 Vets Kill Themselves Every Day.” Army Times (23 April).
Also, consider the frequent reports of domestic violence and homicides.
The number of troops who have been deployed to Iraq over the last 7 years must have been somewhere around 1 million. Since May 2003, the US has had less than 130,000 in only four months.
Economists like to think of human capital — a stupid expression for the creative capacity of people — as the key to economic growth. Ignoring the economic costs of the war, as well as the consequences for the Iraqis; not even counting the physical destruction of the lives and the bodies of those soldiers who survive, these human losses for the tortured souls and for those who are hurt by them should surely be enough to say that starting such a venture should constitute a crime.