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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Three Years for WHAT?

Originally Posted: March 19, 2006 -- 4:29 PM
Fool Boards Link: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=23854967

Anniversaries should be good for something, right?


===================

Fully cognizant of the fact that the Bush administration, which makes no mistakes, won't be looking back over the past three years for lessons in Iraq, I figure SOMEONE has to make an attempt. Here's mine.

Here's What We KNOW About The Iraq War

Since March 20, 2003, the war in Iraq has:

* killed 2317 members of the US military (#1)
* injured or maimed 17,004 members of the US military (#1)
* cost the United States taxpayers at least $248,579,100,278 . (#2)
* killed at least 33,679 Iraqi civilians (#3 and #4)
* killed 103 members of the British military (#5)
* identified exactly ZERO actual functional nuclear weapons (#6)
* identified exactly ZERO actual functional biological weapons (#6)
* identified exactly ZERO actual, functional facilities for creating nuclear weapons (#6)
* identified exactly ZERO actual, functional facilities for creating biological weapons (#6)
* identified NO formal written strategy or plan for reviving WMD programs (#6)
* identified NO evidence Iraq retained modified SCUD missiles after 1991 capable of delivering WMD (#6)

Since the war began, we have learned the following facts about the planning conducted for the war:

* no viable plan for post-war Iraq existed until seven months after invasion (#7)
* General Eric Shinseki estimated we'd need at least 300,000 to occupy Iraq (#8)
* Rumsfeld insisted on only 130,000 to confirm theories of a new style of "blitzkrieg" warfare (#8)

After three years of occupation, we know:

* electricity production is at a 3-year low in a country with summer highs above 110 (#9)
* metro Baghdad only gets about 3-4 hours of electricity per day (#9)
* terrorism has INCREASED in the world and within Iraq since our occupation (#10)
* Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for future terrorists, completely negating any success we had in Afghanistan (#11)
* oil production hasn't returned to pre-war levels, limiting Iraq's ability to pay for its internal reconstruction or add slack to global markets (#12)
* the top American commander General John Vines is concerned Iraqi security forces may fracture into sectarian militias (#13)
* as recently as July 2005, General Pace stated only a small handful of Iraqi security forces were capable of operating alone, a third could operate with US help, and the rest were only partially capable (#14)


Here's What We DON'T KNOW About the War In Iraq

* how has this war improved the security of the United States?
* how can we leave Iraq without producing a vacuum leading to a civil war in Iraq?
* when will the first wave of Iraq-bred al Quieda terrorists attack US interests outside Iraq?
* what are we going to do to ENSURE veterans of this war get the long term care they deserve?
* how do we plan on PAYING for this war without passing the buck to the next generation?


WTH

------------------------

#1) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_casualties.htm
#2) http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182
#3) http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
#4) http://zfacts.com/p/79.html
#5) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3847051.stm
#6) http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/Comp_Report_Key_Findings.pdf
#7) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6753606/
#8) http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20040901faessay83505/larry-diamond/what-went-wrong-in-iraq.html
#9) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-iraq-powerless-iq1,1,6995534.story?coll=chi-news-hed
#10) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5889435/
#11) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7460-2005Jan13.html
#12) http://today.reuters.com/business/newsarticle.aspx?type=tnBusinessNews&storyID=nL16672097
#13) http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5134669
#14) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/iraq-corps.htm