Money Down the Drain: CRS Report Details U.S. Expenses on Iraq

Money Down the Drain: CRS Report Details U.S. Expenses on Iraq

After referring to Iraq as one of America’s costliest wars, observers of the decade-plus long engagement can now put some hard numbers on their critiques. The Congressional Research Service recently released the most detailed and accurate numbers yet on total U.S. spending in Iraq. The report came just weeks before Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham captured Mosul and other key cities. President Obama said on Friday that he will not deploy ground troops in Iraq but the data likely provides war critics fresh ammunition to question what the spending accomplished.

The report puts total projected U.S. spending in Iraq from 2003 to 2014 at $57,184,400,000. Here’s a year-by-year breakdown:

The Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund and the Pentagon each received more than $20  to bolster the Iraqi Army and Iraqi security forces. Here’s the agency breakdown of total spending:

Obama essentially acknowledged on Friday that the money was not well spent. Iraq’s security forces "have proven unable to defend a number of cities, which has allowed the terrorists to overrun a part of Iraq’s territory, and this poses a danger to Iraq and its people," he said. According to some reports, Iraq’s 800,000-strong security force put up little fight against ISIS. Here’s a year-by-year breakdown of U.S. spending on those forces: