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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2008

$3 trillion Iraq war

A NEW book, The Three Trillion Dollar War, co-authored by Nobel prize-winning economist and former Clinton adviser, Joseph Stiglitz, shows the true economic cost of the war in Iraq. It also shows the effects on everyone from Iraqi civilians to US and British consumers and people in Africa for years into the future.

The book by Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes in their words conservatively estimates 'the real economic cost to the US as $3 trillion'. The rest of the world, including Britain, will probably account for about the same amount again.

Daily military operations have already cost more in five years than they did in 12 years in Vietnam. Bush's government is spending $16 billion a month on running costs alone in Iraq and Afghanistan; that is the entire annual budget of the UN.

Stiglitz and Bilmes list what $1 trillion could have paid for: eight million housing units, or 15 million school teachers, or health care for 530 million children for a year, or scholarships to university for 43 million students. America, says Stiglitz, is currently spending $5 billion a year in Africa, and worrying about being outflanked by China there: "Five billion is roughly 10 days' fighting."

The rest of the world but particularly Iraq, has suffered much in human and economic terms. There are the Iraqi dead, the smashed Iraqi economy, the price to neighbouring countries of absorbing millions of refugees, the coalition dead and wounded. The book also shows that the cost to oil-importing industrial countries in Europe and the Far East of the rising cost of oil is now about $1.1 trillion.

The Three Trillion Dollar War by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, published by WW Norton, 20.

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In The Socialist 4 March 2008:

Unite for a living wage

Greenwich workers score victory against single status

Angry civil servants strike over pay


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Thousands protest at threats to hospital

Rewarded for zeal at cuts

Derby health workers


International Women's Day

Fight for a woman's right to choose


Anti-War

DEMONSTRATE

$3 trillion Iraq war

Sheffield activists fight militarism


Environment and socialism

Walthamstow 'RAPpers' against toxic incinerators


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing association collapses

Meet Brown's new finance expert

Fans blow whistle on Game 39

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Swansea - no sign of Griffin!


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion destabilising region

Russian election

EU war with super-rich?


Workplace news and analysis

Pensions under attack

Unison witch-hunt: Members bite back

Teachers must reject real pay cuts

Greenwich workers fight attacks

Socialist Party member stands for Unite (T&G) general executive


 

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