$380,000 per Minute

Nicholas Kristof for the NY Times:

In the run-up to the Iraq war, Donald Rumsfeld estimated that the overall cost would be under $50 billion. Paul Wolfowitz argued that Iraq could use its oil to “finance its own reconstruction.” But now several careful studies have attempted to tote up various costs, and they suggest that the tab will be more than $1 trillion — perhaps more than $2 trillion. … Just to put that $2 trillion in perspective, it is four times the additional cost needed to provide health insurance for all uninsured Americans for the next decade. It is 1,600 times Mr. Bush’s financing for his vaunted hydrogen energy project…

Not to beat a dead horse, but this horse ain’t dead. Every minute we spend losing a war that not even the generals think we can win is costing us $380,000.

via pseudorandom

3 Replies to “$380,000 per Minute”

  1. Not to sound like I support the reasons for being in Iraq in the first place (or the reasons my government gave for joining your forces), but shouldn’t there be a little amount of responsibility about dealing with the situation seeing as how we’re over there and started some of this?

    Shouldn’t there be some responsible talk about how we can actually, truly, help the Iraqi nation. Surely a sudden void following an immediate pullout wouldn’t be the right thing to do?

    I’m not advocating staying for the point of staying, but I also think it is wrong to just disappear again like the US did in Vietnam and create yet another vacuum and power struggle.

    I don’t have any grand ideas about us being the saviours of the middle east, and I completely see and mostly agree that there are ulterior (and more sinister) motives for the US government to be there.

    I don’t think our troops should be there forever, I don’t agree with the way we got there in the first place, but I also think we now as combined western nations are actually bound to do some hard thinking about how we can assist Iraq and I don’t think a complete and immediate pullout is the right thing to do.

    But I’m not certain what we should do either. It just feels deep in my soul that that would be doing a disservice to the Iraqis if we just upped and left.

    I’m pretty sure this post of mine will be misunderstood, but I’m truly interested in what you think.

  2. Kristan – No, you’re not misunderstood here. I totally agree that we bear a great deal of responsibility to restore the country we’ve largely destroyed. And no, I don’t have the answers either – I don’t think anyone does. My post was more of a “this is shocking” observation than a recommendation for immediate pullout. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position of responsibility for the quagmire; there are no good answers.

  3. Hi Scot. I agree that the cost is crazy. I remember seeing documentaries about the troop setup over there… they’re like mini western cities some of those camps.

    It is sad that with so much money spent we’ve done very little overall to reduce the problems in Iraq.

    Thanks for catching my drift. (I guess I overreacted cos I’m hearing all this talk in my workplace and other areas about an unjust war where we should all pull out and I can only imagine how this would further ruin the situation.)

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