Monday, March 17, 2008

5 years and how much!? later...

Remember the totally justifiable anger, acrimony and outrage:
"One thing is certain about the Iraq war: It has cost a lot more than advertised. In fact, the tab grows by at least $200 million each and every day." [...]

"White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was the exception to the rule, offering an "upper bound" estimate of $100 billion to $200 billion..."

"U.S. direct spending on the war in Iraq already has surpassed the upper bound of Lindsey's upper bound, and most economists attribute billions more in indirect costs to the war effort. Even if the U.S. exits Iraq within another three years, total direct and indirect costs to U.S. taxpayers will likely by more than $400 billion, and one estimate puts the total economic impact at up to $2 trillion."

As the old saying goes, that was then, this is now:

"THE war in Iraq will cost US taxpayers at least $US3 trillion ($3.24 trillion), a respected, Nobel Prize-winning economist has written in a new book.

Joseph Stiglitz's book The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, concluded that US military operations in Iraq already have exceeded the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of the Korean War.

"The only war in our history which cost more was the Second World War, when 16.3 million US troops fought in a campaign lasting four years, at a total cost (in 2007, inflation-adjusted dollars) of about $US5 trillion ($A5.4 trillion)," he wrote in the work co-authored with Harvard professor Linda Bilmes."

Wanna bet that by the time the bell has rung on this thing (if it ever does), it surpasses the $5.4trillion spent on WWII? Now that it's costing about $720million per day, it wouldn't take long. (And just out of interest, what comes after "trillion"? "Quadrillion?" "Gazillion"?)