Tuesday, June 20, 2006

War Costs

"Estimates for just Iraq, after factoring in payment for the care of severely injured soldiers, for disabled veterans, for replacing equipment and munitions, for increased recruitment costs due to the difficulty in signing up fresh soldiers, tops $1.2 trillion, according to economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes."
-- Marie Cocco, Washington Post

1 comment:

JamesB said...

At a hearing of the House Budget Committee in February 2003:

Mr. Wolfowitz spent much of the hearing knocking down published estimates of the costs of war and rebuilding, saying the upper range of $95 billion was too high, and that the estimates were almost meaningless because of the variables. Moreover, he said such estimates, and speculation that postwar reconstruction costs could climb even higher, ignored the fact that Iraq is a wealthy country, with annual oil exports worth $15 billion to $20 billion. "To assume we're going to pay for it all is just wrong," he said.

At the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld said the factors influencing cost estimates made even ranges imperfect. Asked whether he would release such ranges to permit a useful public debate on the subject, Mr. Rumsfeld said, "I've already decided that. It's not useful."

I wonder, what did he mean by "not useful". Not useful... for whose purposes?