Next week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker will testify before Congress about the Iraq war. As many media reports have made apparent, the intention of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker next week is simply to announce a continuation of the current strategy — the decision to maintain at least 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely was made weeks ago.
The American people understand the enormous cost of the war in Iraq and are looking for more than running out the clock until the next President takes office in January 2009.
The Cost to Our Troops
Ã‚Â· Since the start of the war in Iraq, 4,003 brave American men and women in uniform have been killed. [Defense Department, 3/31/08]
Ã‚Â· An estimated 29,496 servicemembers have been wounded in Iraq and, as of March 1, more than 31,300 have been treated for non-combat injuries and illness. [Defense Department, 3/31/08, AP, 3/8/08]
Ã‚Â· Nearly 1.7 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since September 2001 — more than 592,000 have been deployed more than once. [Department of Defense, 1/31/08]
Ã‚Â· According to a report by the Army's Mental Health Advisory Team, soldiers who are on their second, third and fourth deployments report “low morale, more mental health problems, and more stress-related work problems.” [3/6/08]
Ã‚Â· An estimated three-quarter of a million troops have been discharged since the war in Iraq began — many of whom with compromised mental and physical health. An estimated 260,000 have been treated at veterans' health facilities, nearly 100,000 have been diagnosed as having mental health conditions, and an additional 200,000 have received some level of care from walk-in facilities. [Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz, Excerpt:"The Three Trillion Dollar War," 2008]