Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The True Cost of the Iraq War: $3 Trillion and Beyond

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Panaconda Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 08:08 PM
Original message
The True Cost of the Iraq War: $3 Trillion and Beyond
The True Cost of the Iraq War: $3 Trillion and Beyond

by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes

Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war.

But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected.

Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs. For instance, many have wondered aloud whether, absent the Iraq invasion, we would still be stuck in Afghanistan. And this is not the only "what if" worth contemplating. We might also ask: If not for the war in Iraq, would oil prices have risen so rapidly? Would the federal debt be so high? Would the economic crisis have been so severe?

The answer to all four of these questions is probably no. The central lesson of economics is that resources -- including both money and attention -- are scarce. What was devoted to one theater, Iraq, was not available elsewhere.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. A trillion here a trillion there..
Pretty soon you're talking real money..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good thing it's paying for itself, as Rumsfeld told us it would. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Not to mention, it diverted resources from and prolonged the war in Afghanistan...
The Iraq invasion diverted our attention from the Afghan war, now entering its 10th year. While "success" in Afghanistan might always have been elusive, we would probably have been able to assert more control over the Taliban, and suffered fewer casualties, if we had not been sidetracked. In 2003 -- the year we invaded Iraq -- the United States cut spending in Afghanistan to $14.7 billion (down from more than $20 billion in 2002), while we poured $53 billion into Iraq. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, we spent at least four times as much money in Iraq as in Afghanistan.

It is hard to believe that we would be embroiled in a bloody conflict in Afghanistan today if we had devoted the resources there that we instead deployed in Iraq. A troop surge in 2003 -- before the warlords and the Taliban reestablished control -- would have been much more effective than a surge in 2010.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Panaconda Donating Member (672 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-06-10 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. They are all the same
Plunder for the ruling elites.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-06-10 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The American people initially supported the war in Afghanistan back in 2001
As a response to the attacks of 9/11. But resources were diverted to a preemptive and pointless war in Iraq, so nothing was accomplished on either front. And so it drags on and brave Americans continue to die, with no resolution and no goal in sight... ;(

Welcome to DU, Panaconda! We're glad to have you with us! :hi:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-05-10 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. but, we NEED that Catfood Commission
we need to find money SOMEWHERE!!!! :o
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-06-10 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
5. The largest US Treasury heist in history
Bush and Cheney made Dillinger and Sutton look like kindergartners
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-06-10 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
6. K&R
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Jul 24th 2014, 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC