The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years After the Beginning of the Conflict, By Linda Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz
Working Paper Number: RWP06-002 (37 pages, PDF). Submitted: 01/11/2006.
“”We have not attempted in this paper an overall assessment of whether the war was conducted in the most cost efficient manner, i.e. whether, given what has been achieved (however that is defined), those objectives could have been achieved at lower costs. We have taken the expenditures, as they have occurred, not as they might have been. The Administration has explicitly tried to fight the war on the cheap, that is limit direct commitments of American troops, even shortchanging body and personnel armor. In violating the Powell doctrine, this may be one of those instances of ‘penny wise-pound foolish’. Certainly, the long run costs to the individuals and to society of the individuals who died or were badly maimed (not to mention the additional costs of recruitment) far exceed the savings from not purchasing better body protection. Many observers believe that the manner in which the War was conducted led to the extended insurgency, which too has greatly increased cost.”
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