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The Opportunity Costs of the Iraq War

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Our Report: The Opportunity Costs of the Iraq War

For more information, visit

Project Billboard and the Center for American Progress have released a major new analysis of the cost of the Iraq war, detailing exactly how the $144.4 billion pledged to date could have been spent on multiple projects to make America safer at home and stronger abroad. The report, "Opportunity Cost of the Iraq War," coincides with the unveiling of a major new billboard in New York's Times Square. The billboard, which will go live at 11 a.m. today, will feature a constantly updated clock counting the cost of the Iraq war, similar to the former national debt clock. The clock will start at $134.5 billion and increase at a rate of $177 million per day, $7.4 million per hour and $122,820 per minute. The billboard will be featured in a full page ad in the New York Times on Monday, 30 August.

The "Opportunity Cost of the Iraq War" report reveals that for the cost of the Iraq war to date, the United States could have undertaken 18 major new projects to strengthen its security in the world and at home. These include:

  • Adding two new divisions to the Army
  • Putting 100,000 new police officers on the nation's streets
  • Doubling the size of the Firefighters Grant Program
  • Doubling America's Special Operations forces
  • Undertaking significant improvements to safeguard ports
  • Funding important initiatives to safeguard loose nuclear weapons

Read the entire press release | "The Opportunity Costs of the Iraq War" | American Progress' Iraq coverage

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

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TV: Lindsay Hamilton
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Radio: Chelsea Kiene
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