Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

by Linda J. Bilmes
Pub. Date:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.


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Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

The true cost of the Iraq War is $3 trillion—and counting—rather than the $50 billion projected by the White House.
Apart from its tragic human toll, the Iraq War will be staggeringly expensive in financial terms. This sobering study by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard professor Linda J. Bilmes casts a spotlight on expense items that have been hidden from the U.S. taxpayer, including not only big-ticket items like replacing military equipment (being used up at six times the peacetime rate) but also the cost of caring for thousands of wounded veterans—for the rest of their lives. Shifting to a global focus, the authors investigate the cost in lives and economic damage within Iraq and the region. Finally, with the chilling precision of an actuary, the authors measure what the U.S. taxpayer's money would have produced if instead it had been invested in the further growth of the U.S. economy. Written in language as simple as the details are disturbing, this book will forever change the way we think about the war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900393067018
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/02/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 311
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Linda J. Bilmes, of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, is an expert in government finance. She is a former assistant secretary and chief financial officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize–winning economist and the best-selling author of The Great Divide, Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy, The Price of Inequality, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, and Globalization and Its Discontents. He is a columnist for the New York Times and Project Syndicate and has written for Vanity Fair, Politico, The Atlantic, and Harper’s. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

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The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
TedMorgan More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago