The price of the US failure to control [Iraq] is patent economic failure. But it doesn’t end there. The cost of the war has exploded. Bush estimated that it would cost between 50 and 60 billion dollars. But $251 billion has already been spent according to a study by economists Laura Bilmes and Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz cited by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times
. If the Bush administration decides to keep its troops in Iraq for another five years, it will cost $200 to $270 billion more. To this must be added the cost of care for the wounded, military pensions, and the replacement of military matériel estimated at 700 billion to 1.2 trillion dollars: ten times more than the annual net contribution by rich nations towards development assistance. For good measure, the decline in Iraq’s petroleum production has contributed to short supplies and has pushed the price upwards. This may be interpreted as a $5.00 surcharge per barrel of oil. Finally, Bilmes and Stiglitz admit that they did not estimate other consequences, such as the price of enraging the worldwide Muslim community and the stain upon the reputation of the United States caused by the Guantanamo prison camp.
Eric Le Boucher, Le Monde | 18.02.06 | Link