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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?



#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