Press "Enter" to skip to content

Now that war with Iran is on the table, a reminder that the cost of the Iraq war could have paid for 715 years of medical research.

With the recent rumblings over Iran and Joe Biden’s bizarre claim that his presidency would cure cancer, it got me thinking of those two things and whether or not war and curing disease have anything in common.

Let me start by saying that although I believe Biden’s claim was nothing more than a random empty political promise, the government could very well take an active role in something like curing a disease and it has done so in the past.

A cure for cancer is not at all beyond science, not by a long shot. It’s mostly a matter of money and time to find a cure. But in the end it’s really mostly about money. The more more money involved, the more research can be done, the more great minds that field of research attracts, and the sooner you find a cure. It’s a pretty simple equation really. The more money available to solve problem, the sooner that problem can be solved.

So that brings us to the next topic, which is war. War is obviously very expensive, both in lives lost and in financial terms. Our most recent war, the war in Iraq an Afghanistan has cost a staggering $5 trillion with the higher estimates putting it at around $6 trillion.

What makes those numbers even harder to swallow is the fact that both of those wars were not necessary, they were in essence “elective” wars, or wars of choice. The people who orchestrated the wars had no clue what the outcome would be, but they gambled $5 trillion and ended up losing it all along with so many precious lives.

So that brings me to the point of this article. Imagine if that money spent on our last war in Iraq was instead spent on medical research. What exactly could it pay for?