Congress approved $68.6 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this week–but that’s only the iceberg’s tip. As has been the case all along, the bulk of the year’s cost for waging on Iraq–a country that has never posed an imminent danger to us–will be paid for by supplemental bills throughout the year, just as it’s been funded in years past. TomDispatch today notes that a week of war in Iraq costs an estimated $3.5 billion.
Sometime in 2009 the direct costs of the war the Bush administration once predicted would cost perhaps $50-60 billion in total will stand at more than $800 billion, or $100 billion above the cost (if all goes well, which it won’t) of the bailout of the financial system now being proposed in Washington.
When true long-term costs (including health care and veteran’s benefits) are added in, estimates range in the trillions of dollars, overall.
The money quote from Chalmers Johnson:
Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on present and future wars that have nothing to do with our national security is simply obscene. And yet Congress has been corrupted by the military-industrial complex into believing that, by voting for more defense spending, they are supplying "jobs" for the economy. In fact, they are only diverting scarce resources from the desperately needed rebuilding of the American infrastructure and other crucial spending necessities into utterly wasteful munitions. If we cannot cut back our longstanding, ever increasing military spending in a major way, then the bankruptcy of the United States is inevitable. As the current Wall Street meltdown has demonstrated, that is no longer an abstract possibility but a growing likelihood. We do not have much time left.
(Cross-posted at JustPeaceNow)