188.8.131.52 The Cost of War
(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents. An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/7466.htm)
The total cost of wars extends beyond the spending on the manpower and equipment deployed (which might be popular in supplying employment). In a Washington Post article, The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond, Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes argued that wars create other economic liabilities – which include the costs of government borrowing, the cost of treating injuries and the loss of productive labour. They calculated that the total cost to the US of the invasion of Iraq will exceed $3 trillion, compared to “the Bush administration’s 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war”.
The huge cost of the invasion of Iraq could not have been accurately predicted, much less the further costs of dealing with such direct consequences as the rise of ISIS, but some effort should be made to estimate additional liabilities before deciding to launch a war.