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Old 08-12-2003, 08:04 AM   #1
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Unilateralism =$$$$

[Q]According to the Pentagon, the cost of the war in Iraq so far has been more than Dollars 48bn (Pounds 30bn). General Tommy Franks has estimated the US military occupation of Iraq could continue for two to four years. Outside experts suggest four years as a minimum, drawing from US reconstruction experience in the Balkans and elsewhere and based on Iraq's deficit in trained security personnel. Troop totals and the associated monthly costs will eventually decline from the current Dollars 3.9bn a month but could still be Dollars 3bn a month for the next four years, if not longer. That translates into a total military cost of at least Dollars 150bn by mid-2007, not even counting the costs of war.

On reconstruction costs, the administration has not yet submitted a new request to Congress; but by the end of this year it is likely to have depleted the Dollars 3.6bn Congress has so far made available. With Iraqi oil revenues unlikely to reach full potential soon, outside estimates of the US bill for reconstruction range from Dollars 5bn to Dollars 120bn a year over several years. That puts the total cost to the US at between Dollars 150bn and Dollars 300bn.

Had President George W. Bush gained the support of important US allies—if not for waging war, at least for securing the peace—the burden could have been far smaller. It is hard to second-guess history but the fact that the French military was still developing plans to contribute 25,000 soldiers to a war effort as late as last Christmas makes it tempting to do so.

Consider the recent past. When President George H.W. Bush went to war in the Gulf in 1991, the broad multilateral coalition he painstakingly assembled bankrolled more than 80 per cent of the costs. In Kosovo, President Bill Clinton's determined courting of allies led to a burden-sharing agreement that left the US shouldering only 15 per cent of reconstruction and a similarly low share of peacekeeping costs.

Let us assume the US were to shoulder half of the military burden, albeit within a broad coalition—roughly its share of total military costs in Afghanistan. Even by this lower estimate, the extra cost of unilateralism could be very roughly Dollars 100bn. In other words, America would have saved that much money by finding a strategy that elicited broader support. Thus, unilateralism has a price: about Dollars 1,000 for each American household. Of course, these are only the direct financial costs of the Bush administration's decision to go it alone, notwithstanding Britain's contribution.

ANother interesting article. While gearing up to vote for President Next year, this should be a main critique. $1000 per household. I love the comparison in the article to Bush's father and President Clinton. It is interesting to see how the two prior Presidents worked hard so that we were not footing the bill. The article enddds with this:

[Q]Iraq is just the starkest example of unilateralism costing America dear. US leadership through most of the past half-century in building international institutions and rules has not been based on sentimental idealism, as some critics contend, but rather on hard-headed analysis of American interests.[/Q]


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Old 08-12-2003, 03:14 PM   #2
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I believe it will cost a lot more than $1000. per household.

You are a two-income household with taxes withheld.

Income earners like you get stuck with the tab.

This costs were known before the war. Bush, and the Administration knew of the costs and would not never take questions on it when they were whipping up support.

Larwance Lindsay, or Larry Lindsay got sacked mentioning it.
see except from article below:
The money costs of this war will be great. Larry Lindsey, President Bush's former economic advisor, lowballed an estimate of $200 billion. For this, Lindsay was told to resign for having the political idiocy of stating such an astounding figure publicly, as though a healthy democracy does not need to know such confusing data. If truth isn't one of the first casualties of war, then Lindsay's superfluous job surely qualifies.

At least when Lindsay was on the government payroll, his salary was included in the White House budget. Next month's Iraqi Follies, whatever billions they end up costing, are off-budget. After all, budgeting the war would hinder the ability of the political class to target new spending programs to areas of electoral importance, which is why the Bush budget allows the state to grow at an even faster clip than Lyndon Johnson dared.

This decision is not exactly a profile in courage, especially for a president who, in his inaugural, humbly spoke of "confronting problems instead of passing them on to future generations." Since off-budget spending is most often financed by revving up the dollar's printing press, it is likely that another cost of this war will be a general increase in the price level in years' hence, furthering the downward slide of real incomes that has been occurring over the last three decades. Got milk? Years from now, you will pay for this war in the form of higher grocery bills.
I remember this well and wondered why no one cared about the costs and how it would be paid.

The daily talking points were 1. Uranium from Niger 2. Iraq can be ready to attack in 45 minutes. 3. Bullet-proof evidence of Saddam- 911 link.

Money will be extracted from earners, where will it end up?
What did Woodard and Bernstien say, "follow the money"

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Old 08-13-2003, 11:57 AM   #3
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Ooh. Might this be something that's really bad news for taxpayers and consumers?? Not good.
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:22 PM   #4
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<-- although I shouldn't be!

thanks for the intersting and disturbing article, Dread.

Had President George W. Bush gained the support of important US allies—if not for waging war, at least for securing the peace—the burden could have been far smaller.
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