JUNE 11, 2016 - Within weeks, Britain’s Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will report its findings. It has taken eight years to interview witnesses and examine more than 150,000 government documents for the report, which is expected to be three times longer than the Bible. Chilcot will examine the decision that took Britain to war in 2003, and the strategy and effectiveness of operations in the ensuing six years.
In Australia, we have yet to address either issue seriously. Our public debate on Iraq remains suspended in aspic, seeking to blame rather than learn, and yet to understand just what it was that thousands of Australian troops did there this past decade.
I deployed to Iraq twice and, much as I try, it is hard to place my experience of the Iraq war within the national political discourse.
It is 13 years since that international wound was opened. At best it was a tragic mistake, taking thousands of military and civilian lives and disrupting entire nations. At worst, it was a deliberate and evil calculation, fuelling and fostering conflicts that are still claiming hundreds of thousands of lives — “the greatest disaster in American foreign policy” in the judgment of former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright.
The youngest recruits joining the Australian Defence Force today would have been but four years old when Australian soldiers, sailors and aircrew joined the campaign to invade Iraq in 2003. In the time since, Australia has had six governments, five prime ministers and eight defence ministers. I can see where Iraq hangs in our national consciousness, a spectre looming over every discussion of war and how Australia makes its way in the world.
Three perspectives colour my experience of the Iraq war. read more>>>
And now Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after the Whole Country Abandoned the Missions and those sent to Accomplish, and still haven't paid for either nor the long term results from and that includes the VA their responsibility, so extremely quickly after 9/11!!
Command Sergeant Major: No Troops Died Searching for Bergdahl
22 December 2014 - The ACLU and Human Rights Watch say the offences amount to ‘a vast criminal conspiracy’ and are ‘shocking and corrosive’ to US democracy and credibility read more>>>
The Royal United Services Institute said the UK could face a bill of nearly £65bn, once the cost of long-term care for injured veterans was factored in, with most of the money was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The study, called Wars in Peace, said both conflicts were largely “strategic failures” for the UK, The Guardian reported."
"And when you add up to the Department of Defense, Department of State, CIA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt, the number that strikes me the most about how much we're committed financially to these wars and to our current policies is we have spent $250 billion already just on interest payments on the debt we've incurred for the Iraq and Afghan wars." 26 September 2014
December 22 2014 - American taxpayers have shelled out roughly $1.6 trillion on war spending since 9/11, according to a new report from Congress’ nonpartisan research arm. That’s roughly $337 million a day -- or nearly a quarter million dollars a minute -- every single day for 13 years. read more>>>
Chris Hayes MSNBC: "If you can run a deficit to go to war, you can run a deficit to take care of the people who fought it" In response to Republican opposition to expanding Veterans' benefits on fiscal grounds
Neither of these recent wars have yet been paid for, let alone the results from, including the long ignored or outright denied existence of, till this Administrations Cabinet and Gen Shinseki, only Government branch consistent for the past six years, issues! As well as under deficits most of the, grossly under funded, VA budget is still borrowed thus added, problem creating, costs that shouldn't exist!