View Full Version : Soldier's lives are worth $500K?

24th Mar 2008, 22:03
Saw an article in the paper saying the US govt pays $500,000 insurance money for each soldier killed in wars. Then I saw they have just reached 4,000 killed in Iraq. That works out to $2,000,000,000 of taxpayers' money paid out already. Is that 2 trillion dollars? (as the US calculates trillions). Does any other country offer this insurance? Is a soldier really worth a half million dollars? (if it was my son, he would be worth a hell of a lot more).
What do they pay for the Iraqis' lives?

24th Mar 2008, 23:07

Is two billion.

24th Mar 2008, 23:13
Is that 2 trillion dollars? (as the US calculates trillions). Nah, $500,000 x 4,000 GIs = $ 2,000,000,000 (still only $2 billion in commerce parlance worldwide)...?! Compared to the overall cost of the war, that's literally peanuts, at least so far as the war-mongerers would have us believe. They prefer to use as rate of exchange some very obscure rates involving "getting rid of Saddam Hussein" or "weapons of mass destruction that could hit Europe in 45 minutes".

However, some reports say that the eventual cost of the war might indeed reach $3 trillion ($ 3,000,000,000,000), once all the costs of the war including taking care of the wounded GIs for the rest of their lives for example, are accounted for properly. Which works out at $750 million per dead GI to date. I'm not very good at figures, so I could be wrong, but sometimes I wonder if instead of an M16, every dead GI (before he became so) had instead an armfull of dollar bills ($75 or $750 million :confused:) with which to make peace with the locals...?! :uhoh:

John Hill
24th Mar 2008, 23:48
What do they pay for the Iraqis' lives?

There is a system for compensation which pays about $3,500 for an Iraqi killed while fighting with the US forces. About 60% of the claims are rejected however.

There is an article about it here http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mother6mar06,1,7115084.story?track=rss&ctrack=3&cset=true

25th Mar 2008, 00:06
I've been extremely flippant tonight (blame it on the Scotch - the poorer I feel, every time injustice is thrown at my face etc., the more I consume).

I have no real idea of what it means to die for one's country or beliefs (and neither do you if you're entirely honest and reading this if you think about it...).

I dislike the idea of today's professional armies. They sound too "available" , just waiting to be abused by inept politicians. Any true wars worth fighting should require voluntary and massive sign-up by ordinary citizens, from all walks of life, not just those of the warrior or dare I suggest, the "samurai" classes...?! :uhoh:

25th Mar 2008, 01:28
If a soldier/sailor/airman/marine dies while active duty and had signed up for government-sponsered life insurance (as many civilian insurance companies don't like insuring the 'war' part of the deal), then his/her heirs can receive up to $400,000. If not, then it is conceivable that the heirs will get nothing. It was up to the choice of the servicemember.

US government death gratuity to the family of slain soldier was raised in the last couple of years, retroactive to 2001, to $100,000 (I believe that is the current amount. It was a shockingly low $6,000.)

I'm curious as to the 'require voluntary sign ups,' as the US, and I'm fairly sure, the UK, have a volunteer military. The upside of that is, generally, a more motivated, less troubled force than one comprised of draftees.

The downside is that the physical burden of war isn't spread across the population as a draft tends to do. Is that the concept you were looking for?

It's been said, fairly accurately, that the US isn't at war, the US military is. The war itself is often times only what's seen on the news.

I'm curious as to what comprises a "warrior class" or, dare I say it, "samurai" class?" I was a farm boy before joining up. Redneck, maybe, but 'samuai?' Y'all ain't from aroun' heah, is ya?

As far as a 'professional' army, I will take that over a conscript one anyday. The opening days of that type of combat are pretty expensive in lives while lessons learned and studied by the 'professionals' are taught the hard way.

Task Force Smith, Korea, 1950 as an example.

By the way, don't forget in your accounting, the untold wealth spent on care for the several tens of thousands of combat injured, not to mention the probable loss of productivity from them. Even though many of them exhibit tremedous courage and motivation to go on to other things, I cannot help but believe the costs there will be greater.

My full respect to both the KIA and WIA. God bless them. And their families.