I should start by saying this essay focuses on money, not the number of US military lives spent or those of the Iraq and Afghanistan citizens, and not the horrendous cost to the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan. If I had my way, that would be the true cost and the ultimate reason to end the wars. But the American public has become so apathetic to the sins of war, it seems the only thing that may awaken them enough to stop the madness is to appeal to their greed.
The United States military, NATO, and it’s hired guns will be in the Middle East and Central Asia for at least ten more years. Regardless the promises made by Obama, or the SOFA agreement with Iraq, there is no way military forces will be out of, or even drawing down from, either country by the end of 2011. The counterinsurgency (COIN) efforts currently being deployed as ordered by CINC Obama and directed by Generals Petreaus, Odierno and McChyrstal in both countries are generally agreed upon by experts as tactics that could take decades.