"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended," declared President George W. Bush aboard the USS Lincoln in 2003. "In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
Five years later, the Iraq war rages on.
According to two prominent economists, in a study the White House has not disputed, the cost of the war now outpaces the total price of the 12-year US conflict in Vietnam. It's now nearly double the total cost of the Korean War.
The costs of maintaining a US presence in Iraq now runs a tab of about $435 million a day -- $3 billion a week, or $12 billion a month. The US has siphoned some $500 billion taxpayer dollars into Iraq, for a war that was supposed to be "sharp" and brief. Interest payments add another $615 billion, and the price tag of repairing a depleted military is projected at $280 billion.
Only World War II, in terms of inflation-adjusted do
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