The War in Iraq: 10 Years Later

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Debt Crisis

“While the wars did not cause the financial crisis, they were certainly a significant factor in creating the conditions that led up to it," wrote Harvard economist Linda Bilmes in 2011. "First, the Iraq war and the resulting instability in the Gulf put upward pressure on oil prices, which rose from $25/barrel in 2003 to $140/barrel four years later. Second, these higher oil prices depressed US economic activity, prompting the Federal Reserve to loosen monetary policy. Finally, this additional liquidity contributed to the housing bubble and the financial collapse that followed.”

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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