Best Defense

Cui bono? A perspective on our wars

Cui bono? A perspective on our wars

By Capt. John Byron, USN (Ret.)
Best Defense senior peacenik

Below are tallied sound numbers from multiple sources showing the basic cost of our two wars in dollars and human lives:

Iraq
U.S. Military Deaths/Wounded in Action: 4,488/32,223
U.S. Contractors Deaths/Wounded in Action: 3,418/17,105
Coalition Military Deaths/Wounded in Action: 318/842
Iraqi Military & Police Deaths/Wounded in Action: 10,819/30,375
Civilians Killed Directly: 136,000
Displaced Civilians: 2,800,000
Dollar Cost: $816 billion

Afghanistan
U.S. Military Deaths/Wounded in Action: 2,168/18,255
U.S. Contractors Deaths/Wounded in Action: 2,867/8,734
Coalition Military Deaths/Wounded in Action: 1,080/4,620
Afghan Military & Police Deaths/Wounded in Action: 10,655/30,471
Civilians Killed Directly: >15,000 (no accurate tally)
Displaced Civilians: 574,000
Dollar Cost: $709 billion

I have a simple question: Who has benefited from these wars?

Captain John Byron (USN, Ret.), Best Defense’s senior peacenik, served on continuous active duty for 37 years, commanding the submarine USS Gudgeon and Naval Ordnance Test Unit at Cape Canaveral.