How much will the war on terrorism cost? If past experience is any indication, there are bound to be a few hidden expenses. As it takes on the axis of evil, the Pentagon is running up what it refers to as “incremental costs” — expenses over and above the cost of training and deploying troops overseas. But when the General Accounting Office took a look at $2.2 billion the Defense Department spent enforcing no-fly zones in Iraq and keeping peace in the Balkans in 2000 and 2001, it found at least $101 million in what it calls “questionable expenditures.” Here are a few of the iffier expenses racked up at air bases in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Cappuccino machine $16,758 Golf-club set with bag $1,478
Corporate golf membership $16,000 White beach sand $4,638
Genie lamp with Riyadh stone $432 “The Intelligent Investor” software $2,987
Cowboy hats $4,896 Deocrative river rock $18,980
Nacho cheese warmer $1,039 Love seat and armchair $23,989
Remote-control cars $3,766 Sumo wrestling suit $3,395

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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