The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, an interdisciplinary think tank affiliated with Brown University, published a 27-page research paper that explored the total costs of the US war in both Iraq and Syria, under the title “Blood and Treasures”: State Budget Costs the United States, and the human costs of 20 years of war in Iraq and Syria.
The paper predicted that the costs of the war would exceed the loss of half a million lives and the depletion of $2.89 trillion.
This figure includes war costs paid to date, estimated at $1.79 trillion, as well as veterans’ care costs through 2050.
The paper dealt with the killing of between 550,000 and 580,000, since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, in both Iraq and Syria, the two current arenas of what Washington called inherent resolve, which is led by the United States, which is the US military intervention against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, since August 2016.
The research paper indicated that many times that number may have died, due to indirect causes produced by the war and the conditions in which the population was placed, such as diseases that ravaged people.
More than 7 million people from Iraq and Syria are currently refugees, and that about 8 million people are internally displaced in the two countries, and displaced from their areas of origin.
The Watson Institute paper also estimates that between 98 million metric tons and 122 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, MMTCO2e, were emitted from US military operations, between 2003 and 2021, in the war zone and military operations.
The US invasion of Iraq began in March 2003, then the majority of the coalition and American forces left Iraq in 2011, but the United States returned to direct military operations in Iraq and Syria in late 2014, after announcing an international coalition targeting the fighting ISIS, and expelled it from the lands it controlled.
The paper indicated that the war continues, and its costs are exacerbating, especially with the Biden administration’s request for a budget of approximately $400 million, this month, to confront ISIS.