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The financial cost of war

kcasper

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Just wondering what people think of this article.

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The Cost of The War

By Pascal Riche | bio

From: Foreign Affairs
Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes plan to present this week a paper estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $1-2 trillion. This is far higher than earlier estimates of $100-200 billion.

Here is their statement:


Jan 05, 2006 -- 11:05:10 AM EST

NEW STUDY SUGGESTS ECONOMIC COST OF IRAQ WAR MUCH LARGER THAN PREVIOUSLY RECOGNIZED

A new study by two leading academic experts suggests that the costs of the Iraq war will be substantially higher than previously reckoned. In a paper presented to this week’s Allied Social Sciences Association annual meeting in Boston MA., Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes and Columbia University Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz calculate that the war is likely to cost the United States a minimum of nearly one trillion dollars and potentially over $2 trillion.

The study expands on traditional budgetary estimates by including costs such as lifetime disability and health care for the over16,000 injured, one fifth of whom have serious brain or spinal injuries. It then goes on to analyze the costs to the economy, including the economic value of lives lost and the impact of factors such as higher oil prices that can be partly attributed to the conflict in Iraq. The paper also calculates the impact on the economy if a proportion of the money spent on the Iraq war were spent in other ways, including on investments in the United States

“Shortly before the war, when Administration economist Larry Lindsey suggested that the costs might range between $100 and $200 billion, Administration spokesmen quickly distanced themselves from those numbers,” points out Professor Stiglitz. “But in retrospect, it appears that Lindsey’s numbers represented a gross underestimate of the actual costs.”

The Allied Social Sciences Association meeting is attended by the nation’s leading economists and social scientists. It is sponsored jointly by the American Economic Association and the Economists for Peace and Security.
 

robin

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I wonder what 911 cost. Soon the Iraq war will cost as many US lives as were lost in 911 & the finacial cost must surely be going to exceed the cost of 911.. if it hasn't already.
All to fight a war in a country that had nothing to do with 911.
Mad or what !
 
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Here's a better question: What would the cost be for not fighting terror?
 

scottyz

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KCConservative said:
Here's a better question: What would the cost be for not fighting terror?
When did the Iraqis launch terrorist attacks against the U.S.? We're fighting angry Iraqis, not terrorists.
 

scottyz

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This was a good article on the subject in The American Conservative. Billions of tax dollars is unaccounted for in Iraq. At one point our "buddy" Allawi was wanted for stealing a billion or so from us. This has been known for a while but the "liberal bush hating mainstream media" doesn't touch the issue of why your money is going magically vanishing.

The United States invaded Iraq with a high-minded mission: destroy dangerous weapons, bring democracy, and trigger a wave of reform across the Middle East. None of these have happened.

When the final page is written on America’s catastrophic imperial venture, one word will dominate the explanation of U.S. failure—corruption. Large-scale and pervasive corruption meant that available resources could not be used to stabilize and secure Iraq in the early days of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), when it was still possible to do so. Continuing corruption meant that the reconstruction of infrastructure never got underway, giving the Iraqi people little incentive to co-operate with the occupation. Ongoing corruption in arms procurement and defense spending means that Baghdad will never control a viable army while the Shi’ite and Kurdish militias will grow stronger and produce a divided Iraq in which constitutional guarantees will be irrelevant.

The American-dominated Coalition Provisional Authority could well prove to be the most corrupt administration in history, almost certainly surpassing the widespread fraud of the much-maligned UN Oil for Food Program. At least $20 billion that belonged to the Iraqi people has been wasted, together with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Exactly how many billions of additional dollars were squandered, stolen, given away, or simply lost will never be known because the deliberate decision by the CPA not to meter oil exports means that no one will ever know how much revenue was generated during 2003 and 2004.

Some of the corruption grew out of the misguided neoconservative agenda for Iraq, which meant that a serious reconstruction effort came second to doling out the spoils to the war’s most fervent supporters.
The 15-month proconsulship of the CPA disbursed nearly $20 billion, two-thirds of it in cash, most of which came from the Development Fund for Iraq that had replaced the UN Oil for Food Program and from frozen and seized Iraqi assets. Most of the money was flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 “cashpaks,” each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons.

Once in Iraq, there was virtually no accountability over how the money was spent. There was also considerable money “off the books,” including as much as $4 billion from illegal oil exports. The CPA and the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Board, which it controlled, made a deliberate decision not to record or “meter” oil exports, an invitation to wholesale fraud and black marketeering.
Where contracts are actually performed, their nominal cost is inflated sufficiently to provide handsome bribes for everyone involved in the process. Bribes paid to government ministers reportedly exceed $10 million.

Money also disappeared in truckloads and by helicopter. The CPA reportedly distributed funds to contractors in bags off the back of a truck. In one notorious incident in April 2004, $1.5 billion in cash that had just been delivered by three Blackhawk helicopters was handed over to a courier in Erbil, in the Kurdish region, never to be seen again. Afterwards, no one was able to recall the courier’s name or provide a good description of him.

Paul Bremer, meanwhile, had a slush fund in cash of more than $600 million in his office for which there was no paperwork. One U.S. contractor received $2 million in a duffel bag. Three-quarters of a million dollars was stolen from an office safe, and a U.S. official was given $7 million in cash in the waning days of the CPA and told to spend it “before the Iraqis take over.” Nearly $5 billion was shipped from New York in the last month of the CPA. Sources suggest that a deliberate attempt was being made to run down the balance and spend the money while the CPA still had authority and before an Iraqi government could be formed.

The only certified public-accounting firm used by the CPA to monitor its spending was a company called North Star Consultants, located in San Diego, which was so small that it operated out of a private home. It was subsequently determined that North Star did not, in fact, perform any review of the CPA’s internal spending controls. Today, no one can account for billions of those dollars or even suggest how the money was spent. And as the CPA no longer exists, there is also little interest in re-examining its transparency or accountability.
Considerable fraud has been alleged regarding American companies, much of which can never be addressed because the Bush administration does not regard contracts with the CPA as pertaining to the U.S. government, even though U.S. taxpayer dollars were involved in some transactions.

Many of the contracts for work in Iraq were awarded on a cost-plus basis, in which an agreed-upon percentage of profit would be added to the actual costs of performing the contract. Such contracts are an invitation to fraud, and unscrupulous companies will make every effort to increase their costs so that the profits will also increase proportionally.

Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company, has a no-bid monopoly contract with the Army Corps of Engineers that is now estimated to be worth $10 billion. In June 2005, Pentagon contracting officer Bunny Greenhouse told a congressional committee that the agreement was the “most blatant and improper contracting abuse” that she had ever witnessed, a frank assessment that subsequently earned her a demotion.

Halliburton has frequently been questioned over its poor record keeping, and critics claim that it has a history of overcharging for its services. In May 1967, a company called RMK/BRJ could not account for $120 million in materiel sent to Vietnam and was investigated several times for overcharging on fuel. RMK/BRJ is now known as KBR or Kellogg, Brown and Root, the Halliburton subsidiary that has been the focus of congressional, Department of Defense, and General Accountability Office investigations. Defense Contract Audit Agency auditors have questioned Halliburton’s charges on a $1.6 billion fuel contract, claiming that the overcharges on the contract exceed $200 million. In one instance, the company charged the Army more than $27 million to transport $82,000 worth of fuel from Kuwait to Iraq. Halliburton has also been accused of billing the Army for 42,000 daily meals for soldiers, though it was only actually serving 14,000. In another operation, KBR purchased fleets of Mercedes trucks at $85,000 each to re-supply U.S. troops. The trucks carried no spare parts or even extra tires for the grueling high-speed run across the Kuwaiti and Iraqi deserts. When the trucks broke down on the highway, they were abandoned and destroyed rather than repaired.

Responding to complaints, Halliburton refused to permit independent auditing and inspected itself using so-called “Tiger Teams.” One such team stayed at the five-star Kuwait Kempinski Hotel while it was doing its audit, running up a bill of more than $1 million that was passed on to U.S. taxpayers.
Countless billions will never be accounted for, and the full cost of corruption has yet to be tallied. Sources report that much of the money that was designated for the development of a national army and police force is actually going to units that are exclusively Kurd or Shi’ite in expectation of a day of reckoning over the country’s oil supplies. The Kurds have made no secret of their desire to continue their autonomy-bordering-on-independence and have stated that they regard Kirkuk as their own. The Shi’ites have possession of the oil-producing region to the south and are using their control of the Interior Ministry to fill police ranks with their own pro-Iranian Badr Brigade members as well as militiamen drawn from radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army. The Sunnis are the odd men out, virtually guaranteeing that, far from becoming the model democracy the U.S. set out to build, Iraq will descend deeper into chaos—aided in no small part by the culture of corruption we helped to fortify.
http://amconmag.com/2005/2005_10_24/cover.html
 
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scottyz said:
When did the Iraqis launch terrorist attacks against the U.S.? We're fighting angry Iraqis, not terrorists.
Save the old left wing talking points for someone who cares. Evil is to be destroyed. I'm proud we are able to help. But don;t worry. No one is thanking you.
 
H

hipsterdufus

KCConservative said:
Here's a better question: What would the cost be for not fighting terror?
We're already NOT fighting the war on terror properly. Look at the 911 commission's report card on implementing recommended changes.
Lots of D's and F's.
 
H

hipsterdufus

kcasper said:
Just wondering what people think of this article.

article link

The Cost of The War

By Pascal Riche | bio

From: Foreign Affairs
Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda Bilmes plan to present this week a paper estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $1-2 trillion. This is far higher than earlier estimates of $100-200 billion.
Rumsfeld initially said it would cost UNDER 50 Billion. Does anyone take Rummy seriously anymore?

Rumsfeld: Well, the lesser important is the cost in dollars. Human life is a treasure. The Office of Management and Budget estimated it would be something under 50 billion dollars.

Stephanopoulos: Outside estimates say up to 300 billion.

Rumsfeld: Baloney. How much of that would be paid by the United States, how much by other countries is an open question.
 
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hipsterdufus said:
We're already NOT fighting the war on terror properly. Look at the 911 commission's report card on implementing recommended changes.
Lots of D's and F's.
No attacks since 911.

W. Still your president. :2razz:
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by KCConservative:
No attacks since 911.

W. Still your president
That doesn't mean jack-sh!t, dude!
 

Herophant

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robin said:
I wonder what 911 cost. Soon the Iraq war will cost as many US lives as were lost in 911 & the finacial cost must surely be going to exceed the cost of 911.. if it hasn't already.
All to fight a war in a country that had nothing to do with 911.
Mad or what !
Not to go of topic, but i think your post represents the reason for some of the antiamerican mood in the World. The perception that american lifes is worth more than others.
 
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Billo_Really said:
That doesn't mean jack-sh!t, dude!
It means everything to me and my family, Mr. Potty-Mouth. Your 2000 and 2004 election jealousy is growing tiresome.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by KCConservative:
It means everything to me and my family, Mr. Potty-Mouth. Your 2000 and 2004 election jealousy is growing tiresome.
Your hero worship clouds your mind and vision. I have no jealousy towards a freak of nature premadonna that thinks they walk with deity.
 
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Billo_Really said:
Your hero worship clouds your mind and vision. I have no jealousy towards a freak of nature premadonna that thinks they walk with deity.
My hero is Christ. How does he cloud my mind and vision? Tell me in your most crass and profane words.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by KCConservative:
My hero is Christ. How does he cloud my mind and vision? Tell me in your most crass and profane words.
Your hero is NOT Christ! Not the way you talk. Check this out, you cannot be for war and for Christ. It's either one or the other. And for someone who exhibits as much intolerance for the opinions of others as you do, I doubt if you have a clue as to what Christ was all about. Go back and think of some of the things you have posted here on this website and ask yourself if you could see these words coming from the mouth of Christ.
 
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Billo_Really said:
Your hero is NOT Christ! Not the way you talk. Check this out, you cannot be for war and for Christ. It's either one or the other. And for someone who exhibits as much intolerance for the opinions of others as you do, I doubt if you have a clue as to what Christ was all about. Go back and think of some of the things you have posted here on this website and ask yourself if you could see these words coming from the mouth of Christ.
I am very rtolerant of yours and others viewpoints. It's an opinion forum. I have no choice but to be tolerant. You have every right to say the things you say and so do I.

And you can't tell me who my heros are and aren't. My hero is Jesus Christ. Always has been. Sorry if that strikes such a nasty chord with you, but your intolerance isn't my problem.
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by KCConservative:
I am very rtolerant of yours and others viewpoints. It's an opinion forum. I have no choice but to be tolerant. You have every right to say the things you say and so do I.

And you can't tell me who my heros are and aren't. My hero is Jesus Christ. Always has been. Sorry if that strikes such a nasty chord with you, but your intolerance isn't my problem.
Yeah, you're right. I could see Christ saying something like, "Prove it or shut up!" Yeah, he says stuff like that.

How would Jesus have bombed Falluja?
 
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Billo_Really said:
Yeah, you're right. I could see Christ saying something like, "Prove it or shut up!" Yeah, he says stuff like that.
I never claimed to be as perfect as He.
 
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Billo_Really said:
So much for tolerance of others.
Because I read it back when you originally posted it, Billo. Why is everything an attempt to take a pot shot? And how does any of this relate to the topic? Can we get back on track please?
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by KCConservative:
How does any of this relate to the topic, Billo? Can we get back on track please?
How do you learn anything new if you know everything already?
 
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Billo_Really said:
How do you learn anything new if you know everything already?
See post 22, Billo. Thanks.
 
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