A new government report says the United States spent too much money and got too few results for all its sacrifice on Iraq.
On the reconstruction alone, American taxpayers spent $60 billion - about $15 million a day. Adding in all the military and diplomatic costs, the United States spent at least $767 billion.
U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen said a lot of money was misspent, wasted, or consumed by fraud.
Iraq's government is rife with corruption and infighting. Baghdad's streets are still cowed by near daily deadly bombings. And few Iraqis have reliable electricity and clean water.
In numerous interviews with Iraqi and U.S. officials and through multiple examples of thwarted or defrauded projects, Bowen's report exposes a trail of waste.
For example, the United States spent $40 million building a 3,600-bed prison in 2004, but abandoned the project after three years to flee a surge in violence.
A $108 million wastewater treatment center in the city of Fallujah has taken eight years longer to complete than it was supposed to and will only service 9,000 homes.
And a widespread ring of fraud led by a former U.S. Army officer resulted in tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks and the criminal convictions of 22 people connected to government contracts for bottled water and other supplies at the Iraqi reconstruction program's headquarters.
Meanwhile, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is cited in the report mentioning that the Obama administration failed to negotiate a military agreement with the Iraqi government before pulling out.
As a result, the United States has limited influence over Baghdad today despite the enormous sacrifices America made to liberate Iraq.