Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

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Al
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Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#1 Post by Al » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:08 pm

Staggering. I just can't imagine how much good this money could've done if it was spent on US citizens instead of these two wars.

From the Melbourne Age.
Iraq war cost put at $1.7 trillion
Josh White, Washington
November 14, 2007

THE cost to the United States of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is about $US1.5 trillion ($A1.69 trillion), according to a study by congressional Democrats.

The study estimates the wars' hidden costs such as higher oil prices, the expense of treating the wounded and interest payments on money borrowed to pay for them.

This is almost double the $US804 billion the White House has spent or requested for the wars, says the Democratic staff of Congress' Joint Economic Committee. The study, The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War, estimates the wars have cost the average American family of four more than $US20,000.

"The full economic costs of the war to the American taxpayers and the overall US economy go well beyond even the immense federal budget costs already reported," the 21-page draft study says.

It argues that war funding has diverted billions of dollars away from productive investment by American businesses in the US.

It says the conflicts are pulling reservists and National Guardsmen away from their jobs, resulting in economic disruptions for US employers estimated at $US1 billion to $US2 billion.

The committee, comprising House and Senate members from both parties and chaired by Democrat senator Charles Schumer, was expected to present the study on Capitol Hill last night.

"What this report makes crystal clear is that the cost to our country in lives lost and dollars spent is tragically unacceptable," Senator Schumer said.

Robert Hormats, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs (International) and a member of the National Security Council staff under presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter, said the war was far costlier than the publicly stated cost.

But he said it would be hard to show the Iraq war had caused oil prices to skyrocket or oil producers in the Middle East to falter. He did not believe there had been a closing-off of US investment because of the war.

Oil prices have more than tripled since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 to a peak of more than $US90 a barrel, the study notes.

"The war in Iraq is certainly not responsible for all of this increase," it says, but it estimates that declining Iraqi production "has likely raised oil prices in the US by between $US4 and $US5 a barrel".

"Because of the many factors affecting oil markets, this should be seen as a highly approximate estimate," it says.

Mr Hormats agreed with the finding that the US was dangerously increasing its reliance on foreign debt and Americans would pay the price for generations.

"The wars will cost a lot more than the appropriated sums, and it's certainly true our children will be paying for this for a long, long time," he said. "I'm very critical of the way they have financed the war, but I always hesitate to try to quantify any of these things, to make these numerical judgements," he said.

The committee estimated injuries due to the wars could add more than $US30 billion in disability and medical care costs, including billions in lost earnings for soldiers who cannot work because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

WASHINGTON POST

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#2 Post by Punishment466 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:37 pm

Imagine all the South Road upgrades we could've had... :| :P

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#3 Post by Düsseldorfer » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:01 am

i read somewhere that if they spent that money on the space program that we could be colonizing our solar system today and harvesting space resources in a few years. Apparently the rocks that burn up in our atmosphere (and the asteroid belt) are packed full of precious metals which could be used to solve a lot of problems...and it wasn't even the full 1.7 trillion, only 400-600billion would be required for this.

Bush should have stood down once no WMD's were found. I hope the next President calls the "war" off and concentrates on re-building the region.

lol, yes and you could line south road with gold too :wank:

but on a serious note, thats $1.7 Trillion spent on Death, hurt, killing and murder.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#4 Post by rogue » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:02 am

And they are US$9trillion in debt.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#5 Post by stelaras » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:14 am

yes and once they solely control the oil in Iraq, Afghanistan and eventualy Iran, they will wipe off that debt very quickly....!


all that money could have eliminated 3rd world debt and 3rd world hunger in an instant!

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#6 Post by Shuz » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:30 am

I don't want to sound extremely insensitive, but why should God 'bless' America for what they've done. $1.7 trillion on a war that nobody wanted. 60,000 Iraqis lives lost, 3000+ U.S soldiers dead, and one even more screwed up region emboiled in a bloodbath. All over the cost of oil? I doubt oil is worth $1.7 trillion dollars.

Lets just hope Americans do the right thing by voting in Democrat Hillary Clinton. A woman is needed to lead that country, and I hope she will pull the U.S out of the war and save the world further injustice from making other mistakes like invading Iran or whatever they plan on doing next.

And its sad to think. $1.7 trillion could've saved all those Hurricane Katrina victims and helped rebuild the entire region. It could've eliminated the obesity crisis. No, but theyre hell-bent on playing with fire and machine guns until all the bloody ammo runs out. Oh wait, they're only in a war because the defence industry generates employment and income for the U.S goverment, and they want someone else's oil. Bloody tossers.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#7 Post by urban » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:35 am

Last independent report I saw had the Iraqi dead at 650,000!!!

They are almost Genocidal figures.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#8 Post by Al » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:23 pm

Let's not forget the amount of wounded soldiers / civilians on both sides. The cost of supporting an injured person is even more.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#9 Post by rev » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:30 pm

Vietnam cost about 2 trillion I think.

Your looking at it completely wrong anyway.

Its not about how much its costing American tax payers, its about how much profit defence corporations and other corporations are making, which conveniently have links in some form or another to the administration.
War is a business.

It seems senseless to us, but if you were the CEO of Halliburton, it would make all the sense in the world.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#10 Post by Will » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:44 pm

What makes this more shameful is that in the USA, there is no universal health scheme (Medicare). People in the USA have to chose whether to pay the rent or eat or go to a doctor/ hospital.

History will remember the Bush administration as the most incompetent and dangerous administration ever. I hope the infamy is shared with their political allies.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#11 Post by stelaras » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:47 pm

rev wrote:Vietnam cost about 2 trillion I think.

Your looking at it completely wrong anyway.

Its not about how much its costing American tax payers, its about how much profit defence corporations and other corporations are making, which conveniently have links in some form or another to the administration.
War is a business.

It seems senseless to us, but if you were the CEO of Halliburton, it would make all the sense in the world.

Rev, I couldnt agree more with your statement. Infact almost every war fought on this planet is contrived for a multinational to profit from! This is why companies like GM and Ford have defence and ballistics programs

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#12 Post by Al » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:31 pm

Oh right. The US tax payer is making these corporations rich and dying for the privilege too. Sounds like a fair deal. I'm totally disgusted by how much the US and other countries spend on "defence".

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#13 Post by Bulldozer » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:45 pm

rev wrote:Its not about how much its costing American tax payers, its about how much profit defence corporations and other corporations are making, which conveniently have links in some form or another to the administration.
War is a business.
I should have taken the hot tip from a friend just after September 11, 2001 and bought shares in Westinghouse - cruise missiles were soon to be in hot demand. :)

While it was a big mistake to go into Iraq, to pull out of Iraq now would create an even bigger mess than there is now. The place would overnight break out into civil war and it would destabilise the entire region. It would become another Afghanistan, war-torn for a generation.

For all the crap that's been going on in recent years with the US, they still do a hell of a lot more good for the world than bad. I'd rather put up with their crap than having Russia or China running the show. I also do wonder about what good could have been done in the world with all the cash that the US government has blown on Iraq.

Space mining is a very good point - if we find an asteroid with butt-loads of Platinum and mine it we'd see fuel cells become drastically more affordable. (Or is it Palladium they use? Either way, they use very expensive metals that are expensive because they're so rare.)

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#14 Post by rev » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:29 pm

China has committed hundreds of billions to renewable energy in the years ahead.
How much has the United States committed to spend?

What ever real good the USA does, it undoes it with its negative actions.
Look how many dictators they have put in power, supported, turned a blind eye to massacres and so on.
We are fighting a War on Terror supposedly, on the one hand trying to eradicate Al Qaeda, on the other, the USA is giving support and backing to terror groups in the Balkans and Middle East.
Like I said, its business. They make money fighting one group, make even more money arming other groups to serve their objectives in a specific region or country without sending their own soldiers in.

That nearly 2 trillion dollars spent could have done alot to alleviate poverty, starvation and general suffering(read medical, education, a roof over someones head) in many third world countries. We eagerly sell the tin pot dictators and war lords in the third world weapons, but we hesitate when it comes to doing something to help these people.

I'd rather the hundreds of millions Australia has spent on the War on Terror, to have been spent on aiding the third world, so in the future we don't have another bunch of people who hate us so much they are willing to kill them selves and take us out with them.

Iraq will remain a bloody mess for years to come, probably at least a decade more. There will be no US pull out(at least not until the oil runs out), they are building a permanent air base in the north of the country right now.

Don't worry though, we will be done with the Middle East soon enough, Africa will replace it. AFRICOM is about to be setup by the US military. I'll give you three guesses to what is in west Africa in particular.

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Re: Cost of US war in Iraq and Afghanistan

#15 Post by Bulldozer » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:46 am

All this hate for the USA and their military, yet here you are posting on the Internet! :roll:

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