When you want cost-benefit analysis, go to an economist.
Edward of Obsidian Wings asks a straightforward question: “What have our 1,000 troops died for?”
This question has a straightforward answer. The first 100 died (and the first 500 were maimed) to liberate Iraq from a dreadful tyrant who had no operational ties with Al Qaeda, no weapons of mass destruction, posed no threat to the U.S., and posed little threat to his neighbors.
The next 900 died (and the next 4500 were maimed) because:
- Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted to show that we could conquer, occupy, and control Iraq with a small force all by ourselves so that the Syrians and the Iranians would be scared of what we could do with the rest of our army.
- Nobody in the White House dared propose any change in policy when it became clear to everybody that Cheney and Rumsfeld were wrong.
Further conclusions to draw from this straightforward answer are left as an exercise for the reader.