The book by both Stiglitz and Blimes of Columbia University and Harvard respectively is titled as “The Three Billion Dollar War.” The book, the cost of the war could be possibly at $12 billion per month. Both have said that this is triple the amount that the United States government has “burned” on the war in the earliest years since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Both authors have explained that by 2017, the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan could possibly cost between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion at least. But, it is a realistic possibility that the cost of the wars in both countries could cost much more than the estimates in the “best-case” and “realistic-moderate” scenarios that both authors have explained.
On a side note, GOP nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona came under fire for saying at one point that US troops could be in Iraq for at least another 100 years. So far, Iraq and national security have been the two platforms of McCain’s presidential bid.
Recently, an Iraq war veteran named Roger Martinez who had spoke on behalf of the Democrats said that McCain does not have the right leadership in regards to Iraq. He said that McCain would continue Bush’s policies in Iraq. This report could possibly be used as ammunition against McCain’s candidacy. It could also be used against US Democratic co-frontrunner Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.
The book also explains that the interest that has been borrowed to pay off the costs for the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq would add another $816 billion dollars.
US Democratic co-frontrunner Senator Obama of Illinois had started to link Iraq with the current state of the United States economy. So far, the biggest issue with most Democratic and Republican primary voters was the economy according to the various polls conducted.
The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan group did its own study. They projected a somewhat lower cost. Instead, they have an accumulative cost between $1.2 trillion and $1.7 trillion. But, it does cite that Iraq has accounted for seventy-five percent of the total costs.
However, there was no attempt to calculate the economic damage done to the country. The types of economic damage included: damages to various facilities by bombing and arson, the damage to the oil industry, looting, and attacks by insurgents that would soon be supported by Al-Qaeda.
There are millions that are without jobs. Many others have left the country.
The total estimate has gone over the amount that spent over the Vietnam War that had lasted for twelve years.
In an ironic twist, while the military and civilian casualty rate has gone down, the spending on Iraq has gone up.
But the authors of the new book state the reasons of the expenses such as the surge in US troops sent to Iraq, the bonuses to get soldiers to re-enlist, military equipment, and other military operations. However, the expenses do not cover just military costs. It also covers the cost of other expenses such as having an embassy along with Iraq reconstruction.
In an article on CNN, Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and John Warner, R-Virginia, two US Senators have asked for a congressional inquiry on Iraq’s oil revenues. It is to see if the nation of Iraq that has been ravaged by much in-fighting ever since the US invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein could pay for its own rebuilding.
So far, the effort was mostly funded by US taxpayers.
While both authors were conservative about the calculations, they said that they did not include anything that could be deemed as “hidden” costs.