We all know that waste and theft are par for the course in overseas conflicts, but let’s look at some of the hard numbers shall we? (These stats are current as of early 2012, and are sourced from The Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index as well as individual news sources listed below.)
• Spent & Approved War-Spending – About $1 trillion of US taxpayers’ funds spent or approved for spending through 2011.
• Lost & Unaccounted for in Iraq – $9 billion of US taxpayers’ money and $549.7 milion in spare parts shipped in 2004 to US contractors. Also, per ABC News, 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47 rifles.
• Lost and Reported Stolen – $6.6 billion of U.S. taxpayers’ money earmarked for Iraq reconstruction, reported on June 14, 2011 by Special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction Stuart Bowen who called it “the largest theft of funds in national history.” (Source – CBS News) Last known holder of the $6.6 billion lost: the U.S. government.
• Missing – $1 billion in tractor trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)
• Mismanaged & Wasted in Iraq – $10 billion, per Feb 2007 Congressional hearings