Democratic speechwriters and candidates have an article to plunder at The Nation, where Tom Engelhardt posts a Harper’s index-style collection of factoids shining a bright light on the out-of-control costs of the Iraq quagmire. A little taste:
Number of attacks from June 2006 through May 2007 on U.S. supply convoys guarded by private-security contractors: 869, a near tripling from the previous twelve months.
Estimated monthly cost of the Iraq (and Afghan) Wars: $12 billion–$10 billion for Iraq–a third higher than in 2006, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.
Estimated number of bullets fired by U.S. troops for every insurgent killed in Iraq (or Afghanistan): 250,000, according to John Pike, director of the Washington military-research group GlobalSecurity.org. This comes out to 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition yearly. With U.S. munitions factories unable to meet the demand, 313 million rounds of such munitions were purchased from Israel last year for $10 million more than if produced domestically.
Estimated cost of deploying an American soldier to Iraq for one year: $390,000, according to the Congressional Research Service.
And this jaw-dropper:
Percentage of dollars annually appropriated by the U.S. government and spent on Iraq-related activities: More than 10%, or one dollar out of every 10, according to the CBO’s Sunshine.
Pretty much the same thing as a 10 percent surtax, and to fight an unprovoked, undeclared, unwinnable war opposed by large margins of both the American and Iraqi people.