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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


The cost of war

How much is being spent on the U.S. wars and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? Try $10 billion a month, and rising. And even after the war "ends," however that might be defined, the costs will keep on coming:
To fully re-equip and upgrade the U.S. Army after the war ends would cost $36 billion over six years, and that figure assumes U.S. forces would begin withdrawing in July and would be completely out of Iraq by the end of 2008, an assumption Bush dismissed when he suggested withdrawal will be up to his White House successor.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said a more protracted fight could triple Schoomaker's $36 billion figure.
"Begin withdrawing in July"? I and millions of Americans (and Iraqis and others) wish that were going to happen, but it seems highly improbable. Expect $100 billion to be the likely figure.

Of course, this calculation of "continuing expenditure" has to do with exactly one thing -- re-equiping the Army. The Washington Post neglects to tells its readers about the biggest expense of all - continuing medical care for tens of thousands of injured veterans. That amount is likely to exceed one trillion dollars over the next 50 years.

Of course, the "opposition" is going to do something about all this, right? Yeah, right:

Senate Democrats say that, in the end, they will vote for the measure, which congressional leaders plan to deliver to President Bush by Memorial Day. But the upcoming debate will offer opponents of the war ample opportunity to question the Bush administration's funding priorities.
"Questioning" and then voting for it anyway, that is bold.

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