A bit under 20 years ago the US and Brits invaded Iraq, a country a little smaller than Texas. Our combined invasion force was about 195,000 which massed openly in a neighboring nation. The justification, mistaken at best, was that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction which they might use against the innocent or against the West. The full overthrow of the Iraq government took about a month and included deliberate or inadvertent terror bombing of civilians, some 200,000 of whom were killed one way or another… but under all circumstances, dead. Two hundred thousand humans.
For seven or eight years we tried to run Iraq, sometimes directly, sometimes through a puppet government, all protected by, as I recall, half a million US soldiers. There were also tens of thousands of “private’ security personnel, which reads ‘mercenary’ to me, and a famous prison/torture system for those Iraqis we didn’t like. At the end it’s hard to believe our governing Iraq was anything but an expensive and mostly failed shit show.
We never found the Nukes or Chemical weapons that were the justification for the take-over. They did not exist. Given the horror we imposed on Iraq it seems small to remark on the financial cost to the United States, but it is at least eight trillion dollars, not counting probably that much again in interest on the national debt (since we paid for the war by borrowing). Also not included is what else we might have used all that money for here.
And for the record, there is a pretty strong argument that the invasion was illegal under international law and that we committed as great a war crime as anybody more recently.
Like I said….