The astronomic costs of the Iraq war

WASHINGTON - From the tens of thousands killed and wounded to the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in eight years of conflict, the cost of the Iraq war is astronomic and still growing.

Human cost

Since the US invasion in March 2003, at least 126,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the war, according to Boston University professor Neta Crawford. In addition, another 20,000 Iraqi soldiers and police were killed, along with more than 19,000 insurgents. British group IraqBodyCount.org puts the number of documented Iraqi civilian deaths from violence at 104,035 to 113,680.

For the US-led coalition, the Pentagon says the United States lost 4,474 troops, of which 3,518 died in combat. This figure is by far the highest of an invading coalition country. Britain was next, with 179 troops killed, according to the Defense Ministry. Nearly 32,000 American troops were also wounded.

In November, 187 Iraqis were killed by violence, including 112 civilians, 42 policemen and 33 soldiers. This figure compares to 2,087 people killed in January 2007. By comparison, 2,045 people were killed in the first nine months of 2011. These are all according to figures released monthly by the Iraqi ministries of health, interior and defense.

And the United Nations estimates that 1.75 million Iraqis were made refugees by the war, forced to flee to neighboring countries or to displace their families to other parts of the country.

Troops deployed

At the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, about 150,000 US troops were stationed in Iraq, supported by 120,000 forces operating outside of the country. Roughly 40,000 British troops were deployed as well during the course of the war.

The US troop presence reached 165,000 at the end of 2006 before President George W. Bush decided on a "surge" of 30,000 reinforcements in a bid to counter spiraling violence.

In September 2010, the US combat mission officially ended and 50,000 American troops remained on the ground to advise and train Iraqi forces as part of the newly dubbed "Operation New Dawn." The last of those US troops have now left Iraq.

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