January 5, 2012
As 2011 closed, with troop withdrawals from Iraq, and as the new year began, with the Pentagon’s promise of reduced military spending, research from the Institute-based Costs of War project featured strongly in the mix of media commentary. In Foreign Policy’s Middle East Channel, project Co-Director Catherine Lutz questioned "the risk of the ongoing US operations in Iraq, where 16,000 civilians will be stationed, primarily as State Department employees or contractors from 2012 forward. Crucially, the mission in Iraq has come to change – and indeed militarize – the way in which the State Department operates.” On Democracy Now! she expanded on the State Department's new security focus in Iraq, saying, “I think that the basic human needs to recover from injuries and losses of the nine years of war, that’s what we need to be talking about. What is the State Department doing vis-à-vis those issues?” Costs of War research made its way into several year-end Iraq retrospectives. "The real tragedy is that the story of the Iraqi people and the suffering they have gone through is still poorly understood by Americans," Lutz said during Al Jazeera's segment on "Iraq War: Predictions vs. Reality." Read more inside.