The infrastructure of Iraq is (understandably) a mess. This is largely due to insurgents breaking things or blowing them up, often along with the engineers working on them. And because of this, the entire project of rebuilding the war-torn country is racking up a considerable cost, according to this article at IEEE Spectrum:
All of the money pledged so far for Iraq’s reconstruction adds up to roughly $60 billion, according to a report last July by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). U.S. officials whom I interviewed in Iraq this past October said that the current consensus was that the final tally might be as high as $100 billion. For comparison, in the first two years of their reconstruction after being devastated in wars, Germany, Japan, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan together received a total of $25.6 billion, in 2003 dollars, according to the United States Institute of Peace, a congressionally created organization devoted to conflict resolution. The first European Recovery Program, known as the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt much of Western Europe after World War II, spent the equivalent of about $90 billion in today’s dollars between 1948 and 1951.
That’s an awful lot of money. And that doesn’t include all the money that the actual
war liberation has cost in military hardware, humanitarian aid and so on. It certainly doesn’t count the cost of the human lives lost, on both sides. The Iraq situation seems to be becoming not just America’s greatest mistake, but its most expensive as well. No wonder they’re looking around for somewhere else to get a return investment from.