Iraq More Expensive than Vietnam

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According to the Washington Post, Bush will ask Congress today for a quarter of a trillion dollars in additional funding to cover the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The president wants $100 billion added to the $70 billion already allotted for this year, and $145 billion for next.

As the costs in Iraq spiral upward, once provocatively high estimates of the Iraq War’s costs—like the one [PDF] offered late last year by Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard’s Linda Bilmes, which predicted the war would cost more than a trillion dollars—are beginning to look too conservative.

WaPo notes:

The new war spending would bring the overall cost of fighting to about $745 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States — adjusting for inflation, more than was spent on the Vietnam War.

And don’t forget that what Congress earmarks for Iraq and Afghanistan only reflects a fraction of the wars’ true economic burden. (See an article Stiglitz and Bilmes’ penned for the Milken Insitute Review explaining their assessment of the future and human costs of the Iraq war broken down, as best they can be, into dollar and cents).

–Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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