Posted by Lex, on November 13, 2007
I’ve long believed that we’ll know that we’ve turned the corner in Iraq and Afghanistan when the media discussion of those campaigns moves away from the Inevitable Disasterous Failure & Another Grim Milestone modes of reportage in favor of themes stressing a Terrible Reckoning of the Costs.
Ecce: It’s costing too much.
The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts’ “hidden costs”– including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.
I searched the article in vain for any discussion of future costs avoided by not precipitously upping sticks, leaving our new democratic allies a steaming turd of worldwide terror and regional instability, but apparently the math isn’t in on that yet.
But – and this is just for reference – the last successful major terrorist attack on this country (six years, two months past) incurred immediate direct costs of around $27 billion, around a half trillion dollars in indirect economic costs, not including an estimated 30% increase on insurance premiums and impacts on both the transportation and tourist sectors. It also cost – and this is just in – $1.5 trillion dollars in defense related and other “hidden” incidental and indirect spending.
You pays your money either way, but I still think that losing ends up costing more.