A Week of War for $3.5 Billion
Jarrett Martineau | March 4, 2008 at 09:35 pmby
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NowPublic posted a news story in reply to Joseph Stiglitz's interview several weeks ago.
Now Mathaba offers us a detailed look at the combined weekly costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it's shocking stuff.
A week of war for $3.5 billion?
In a recent interview, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz asserted that the costs of the Iraq war -- budgetary, economic, and societal -- could reach $5 trillion.
That's a hard number to comprehend.
How about breaking those soaring trillions down into smaller pieces, into mere millions and billions? How much, for instance, does one week of George Bush's wars cost?
Glad you asked. If we consider the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan together -- which we might as well do, since we and our children and grandchildren will be paying for them together into the distant future -- a conservative single-week estimate comes to $3.5 billion. Remember, that's per week!
By contrast, the whole international community spends less than $400 million per year on the International Atomic Energy Agency, the primary institution for monitoring and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons; that's less than one day's worth of war costs. The U.S. government spends just $1 billion per year securing and destroying loose nuclear weapons and bomb-making materials, or less than two days' worth of war costs; and Washington spends a total of just $7 billion per year on combating global warming, or a whopping two weeks' worth of war costs.
To understand this assertion in better detail, I would highly recommend reading William D. Hartung's detailed breakdown of the weekly war costs here.
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