In 2003 Donald Rumsfeld estimated a war with Iraq would cost $60 billion. Five years later, the cost of Iraq war operations is over 10 times that figure.
So what’s behind the ballooning dollar signs? Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilme’s exhaustedly researched book, “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict,” breaks down the price tag, from current debts to the unseen costs we’ll pay for years to come.
Obama May Add 30,000 Troops in Afghanistan
Please consider Obama May Add 30,000 Troops in Afghanistan
President Obama said Tuesday that he was determined to “finish the job” in Afghanistan, and his aides signaled to allies that he would send as many as 25,000 to 30,000 additional American troops there even as they cautioned that the final number remained in flux.
The White House said Mr. Obama had completed his consultations with his war council on Monday night and would formally announce his decision in a national address in the next week, probably on Tuesday.
At a news conference in the East Room with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, Mr. Obama suggested that his approach would break from the policies he had inherited from the Bush administration and said that the goals would be to keep Al Qaeda from using the region to launch more attacks against the United States and to bring more stability to Afghanistan.
“After eight years — some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done — it is my intention to finish the job,” he said.
Ms. Pelosi said she did not want to sacrifice the party’s domestic agenda to the cost of the troop buildup. “The American people believe that if something is in our national security interest, we have to be able to afford it,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that we hold everything else” hostage to that.
Cost Per Soldier = $1 Million
War mongering costs are rising. Please consider High Costs Weigh on Troop Debate for Afghan War.
While President Obama’s decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan is primarily a military one, it also has substantial budget implications that are adding pressure to limit the commitment, senior administration officials say.
The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 American troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year, the officials said.
Even if fewer troops are sent, or their mission is modified, the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per soldier a year, appears almost constant.
The estimated $1 million a year it costs per soldier is higher than the $390,000 congressional researchers estimated in 2006.
Military analysts said the increase reflects a surge in costs for mine-resistant troop carriers and surveillance equipment that would apply to troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But some costs are unique to Afghanistan, where it can cost as much as $400 a gallon to deliver fuel to the troops through mountainous terrain.
Some administration estimates suggest it could also cost up to $50 billion over five years to more than double the size of the Afghan army and police force, to a total of 400,000. That includes recruiting, training and equipment.
At a stop at a military base in Alaska on Thursday, Mr. Obama told a gathering of soldiers that he would not risk more lives “unless it is necessary to America’s vital interests.”
Double The Idiocy
Any expectations that Obama would show some sense of restraint about military spending have long ago vanished.
“It is my intention to finish the job” translates to “I will blow another $3 trillion war mongering if that is what it takes”. And of course Pelosi does not think war idiocy should be at the expense of domestic idiocy.
War mongers want war but they do not want to pay for it. Sadly, Obama, Bush, Pelosi are all alike. Thus, Congress and the Administration is committed to having military idiocy and domestic idiocy at the same time.
God do we ever need a balanced budget amendment and a sound currency. We should not fund a damn thing unless we are willing to raise taxes to pay for it. Virtually no one but the war mongers and the military beneficiaries would be in support of raising taxes to pay for this monstrosity.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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