Iraq More Expensive than Vietnam


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

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

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate