The Cost Of War In 2008-$150 Billion And Still Counting

The casualty list in Iraq has been declining over the past seveal months, but the flow of money to pay for fighting continues to rise in ever larger amounts. Nobel-prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and co-author Linda Blimes, claim in a new book the total cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion in current dollars. The Congressional Budget Office projections are considerably lower and estimate the cost is between $1.2 triliion and $1.7 trillion. Of course, the GAO did tell Congress the cost of war will not end when the last troop leaves those areas since medical expenses and pensions will continue on for the coming fifty years. The Congressional Research Center estimates the cost of the war in Vietnam was $607 billion– in current dollars.

Some people still recall claims by Bush officials the cost of the war in Iraq would be covered by the Iraq war through money it obtained from oil sales. Of course, the oil industry of Iraq has yet to reach pre-war figures and there is no expectation the Iraq government will ever be able to use that money to assist the United States. Actually, the United States will be supplying money to Iraq for many years to come. One can only wonder what President Bush meant when he shouted: “Mission Accomplished.” It certainly wasn’t the mission of money.

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