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Commentary: Keeping America Accountable in the War Zone

Michael Shank and Matt Southworth wrote in Roll Call: “The House Foreign Affairs Committee heard a compelling case recently for better oversight and accountability of war funding. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen delivered the agency’s final oversight report to the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. The takeaway: More oversight is needed or more money will be wasted.”

“The numbers are astonishing. More than $1.4 trillion has been enacted by Congress for the ‘Global War on Terror’ since 2001. The U.S. has spent about $826.2 billion on military and reconstruction operations in Iraq. This is less than one-fourth of what will eventually be spent (because of added costs from veteran care, etc.). Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers have been killed and almost 33,000 have been wounded. Millions of Iraqis have been killed, wounded and displaced.”

“Despite these devastating losses, the U.S. has left Iraq with very little to show for it. Meanwhile, Washington seems to have nearly forgotten about Iraq altogether.”

“How did so much get spent with so little to show for it?”

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