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Posted April 24, 2008
Useful estimates of the real costs of Bush's wars
Joseph Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, and Linda Bilmes, a lecturer at Harvard, have produced an estimate of the real cost of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, 4,000 US troops have been killed, 58,000 wounded, and 100,000 have returned home with serious mental disorders. Stiglitz and Bilmes estimate that the USA¿s total lifetime medical, disability and social security costs for the two wars will be $717 billion through to 2017. They estimate that the war against Iraq will cost the USA a total of $2.65 trillion through to 2017. The war on Afghanistan will cost another $850 billion through to 2017. The total is $3.5 trillion. 'Bush misunderestimated it would be $50 billion, wrong by a factor of seventy.' This works out at $25,000 for every US household. The costs of the two wars to the rest of the world are another $3 trillion, largely because the invasion has driven up oil prices from $25 a barrel to $120. This has cost the world $800 billion so far, and will have cost an estimated $1.6 trillion by 2015. It has cost us in Britain £24 billion so far, and will have cost an estimated £50 billion by 2015. The wars¿ direct military costs to us in Britain so far are £8.7 billion the estimated future costs till 2015 are another £7 billion. Veterans¿ disability and medical costs are £2.3 billion. The social costs of deaths and disabilities are another £2 billion. The total is £20 billion, £800 per household. The First World War cost the USA $577 billion, the war on Korea $295 billion, the war on Vietnam $670 billion and the Gulf War $94 billion. The total cost of these four wars was $1.64 trillion, which is just half the cost of the two current wars.
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Posted October 11, 2011
Essential Reading for Citizenship
We engaged Iraq in battle at what cost? This is the simple question for which Nobel economist Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda J. Bilmes of the Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government assess. They do this in depth. The enormous financial and human toll of this venture in power comes clear in this accounting.
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