*shakes head in grief*

The Iraq war has already cost the United States $320bn (180bn), according to an authoritative new report, and even if a troop withdrawal begins this year, the conflict is set to be more expensive in real terms than the Vietnam War, a generation ago. The estimate, circulated this week by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), can only increase unease over the US presence in Iraq, whose direct costs now run at some $6bn a month, or $200m a day, with no end in sight...

However, even if everything goes relatively smoothly, costs until a phase-out is complete could top $370bn. This would make the Iraq conflict, now into its fourth year, more expensive financially than the Vietnam War, which lasted eight years. Vietnam claimed 58,000 American lives, far more than the almost 2,400 lost in Iraq thus far. But in today's dollars it cost "only" $549bn, much less than the $690bn for Iraq, and a projected combined $811bn bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article360...