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Iraq By the Numbers

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Today, on the four-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, our military is stretched to the breaking point, Iraq is descending deeper into civil war, and the president is moving more—and more poorly prepared—troops into battle. The Center for American Progress has repeatedly advocated for a new strategy that would redeploy troops from Iraq to focus more attention on completing the mission left unaccomplished in Afghanistan and strengthen our ground troops by making sure that they are well-equipped and prepared—mentally and physically—when they are sent overseas. Clearly, we need a change in U.S. policy in Iraq:

The Cost in American Lives is Rising

3,217: Number of American troops killed in Iraq since the beginning of the war

54: Percentage of troops killed who were 24 years old or younger

Coalition Support is Waning

49: Number of countries in the Coalition of the Willing when the invasion began in 2003

21: Number of countries in the Coalition by mid-2007 after Britain, Denmark, and South Korea reduce their forces

135,000: Number of American troops in Iraq

11,095: Number of non-American troops that will remain in Iraq after the upcoming Coalition withdrawals

Staying the Wrong Course

29,100: Number of additional troops President Bush and his generals have officially requested to send to Iraq as part of an escalation strategy

Up to 50,000: Likely number of additional combat and support troops that will actually have to be deployed for the escalation, according to a Congressional Budget Office report

59: Percentage of Americans who think the Iraq war was a mistake

13: Percentage of Americans who prefer the option of sending more troops to options involving some form of withdrawal

Our Troops Are Being Pushed Beyond Their Limits

31: Number of Army combat brigades that have served two or more tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, out of 44 total

420,000: Number of troops that have deployed more than once

50: Percentage of troops more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder if they serve more than one tour

50,000: Number of troops on whom “stop-loss” has been imposed, meaning they are prevented from leaving the Army when their enlistment end date arrives

Our Veterans Are Not Receiving Adequate Support

23,417: Number of troops wounded in Iraq

9 out of 10: Number of disabled veterans who have been made to wait for benefit evaluations longer than the Pentagon’s own standard of 40 days

76: Percentage of Americans who think the Bush administration has not done enough to care for Iraq war veterans

Violence is Increasing

150,000: Estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed by violence since the beginning of the war, according to the Iraq Health Minister (a conservative estimate)

34,452: Number of Iraqi civilians killed by violence in 2006, according to the U.N.

19: Average number of daily attacks by insurgents in December 2003

77: Average number of daily attacks by insurgents in December 2004

185: Average number of daily attacks by insurgents in December 2006

5,000: Estimated strength of insurgency nationwide in Iraq, November 2003

20,000-30,000: Estimated strength of insurgency nationwide, October 2006

Basic Needs Are Still Unmet

75: Percentage of Iraqis who believe security is poor, according to a June 2006 survey

3,700,000: Estimated number of Iraqis who have fled the country or been internally displaced

20: Percentage of the Iraqi population living below the poverty line (or 5,600,000 people)

25-40: Estimated unemployment rate for Iraqi population

14.2 to 26.5: Estimated percentage of Iraqis who are malnourished

75: Percentage of Iraqi elementary schoolchildren who attended school last year, according to the Iraq Ministry of Education

30: Percentage of Iraqi elementary schoolchildren who attend school now, according to the Ministry of Education

Costs are Mounting

100.8 bil.: Annual cost of the war in Iraq, according to current monthly spending of 8.4 bil. per month

$463 bil.: Cumulative estimated cost of the Iraq war as of 2007

$5.6 bil.: Estimated cost of the escalation, according to Bush administration

Up to $27 bil.: Estimated cost of the escalation, according to the CBO

$633 bil.: Projected cumulative cost of the Iraq war come 2008, figuring in the cost of the escalation

21: Percentage of the FY 2007 National Security Budget spent on Iraq

8: Percentage of the budget spent on homeland security

0.07: Percentage of the budget being spent on international broadcasting and educational cultural exchanges to win the war of ideas with terrorist groups

Americans Are Not Safer

75: Percentage of more than 100 foreign policy experts surveyed who think the war in Iraq had a “very negative impact” on protecting the American people from global terrorist networks and in advancing U.S. national security goals

75: Percentage of foreign-policy experts who think the United States is losing the war on terror

3,194: Number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2004, as reported by the U.S. government’s National Counterterrorism Center

11,100: Number of terrorist attacks worldwide in 2005, as reported by the U.S. government’s National Counterterrorism Center

1: Rank of Iraq among all nations as a training ground for terrorists

There are no longer any good or easy options in Iraq. However, the United States can minimize the damage to its troops, its national security, and the security of Iraq and the region by redeploying troops from Iraq to address the mounting terrorist threat in Afghanistan. This strategy, in tandem with multiple diplomatic efforts involving Iraq’s neighbors in serious negotiations, just might allow the United States to extricate itself from the Bush administration’s war of choice in Iraq with our national security interests intact.

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

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or