The American public has been told that the Iraq War is a thing of the past. Even still, the US Department of Defense is asking the federal government for almost $3 billion for “activities” in a country that they shouldn’t be in.
The last US troops were supposedly withdrawn from Iraq just before 2012 began, but after years of a war that abruptly ended this past December, the Pentagon still wants billions to continue doing…something in Iraq. According to the latest budget request, the DoD think around $2.9 billion should cover the cost of “Post-Operation NEW DAWN (OND)/Iraq Activities.”
In a report published Monday by Wired.com, they acknowledge that the funding that the Pentagon wants now is almost as bizarre as the war itself. For nearly $3 billion, the DoD says that will be able to afford “Finalizing transition” from Iraq. Only two months earlier, however, President Obama celebrated the end of the Iraqi mission. At the time, some critics called the ending of the war as more of a catapult for Obama re-election campaign than anything else. Now with the revelation that the US Defense Department still wants billions for a war America is told it isn’t fighting, the alleged ending of Operation New Dawn seems just as questionable as its mysterious beginning.
After “ending” the war last year, the US government handed Iraqi operations over to the State Department. Three billion dollars — the amount that the DoD wants for a war they aren’t waging — makes up around one-ninth of the State Department’s entire annual budget. In 2012, the Pentagon had asked for $11 billion to fight the War in Iraq — which was, at the time, an actual war.
But as the death toll stands at over 4,000 US casualties after nearly eight years overseas, it is clear by the latest cash request that the US, as many had expected but had not hoped, is not ready to just walk away just yet.
On the bright side, it might be easier to foot the cost of this make-believe war than you would think. Suspiciously, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction announced in January that upwards of $2 billion that the US was holding onto for Iraq had mysteriously disappeared.