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Carlos LozadaStiglitz and Bilmes methodically build a compelling case that the costs of the war far exceed the $500 billion or so officially spent on it thus far. Yet by making many assumptions about the future course of the conflict—from its duration (through at least 2017, they predict) to its impact on global oil prices ($5 to $10 extra per barrel, for seven to eight years)—the authors will leave many readers unconvinced. Will the war prove extraordinarily expensive? Absolutely. But will the price tag be $2 trillion? $3 trillion? $5 trillion? It's impossible to know…Stiglitz and Bilmes should be commended—not disparaged—for their painstaking work. But war critics should weigh the numbers carefully…The book's title suggests a level of precision that is not borne out in its pages. The book's stronger lesson is the sheer range of costs—and foregone opportunities—that the authors ably identify.
—The Washington Post