How the US public was defrauded by the hidden cost of the Iraq war
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: March 19th, 2013
When the US invaded Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration estimated that it would cost $50-60bn to overthrow Saddam Hussein and establish a functioning government. This estimate was catastrophically wrong: the war in Iraq has cost $823.2bn between 2003 and 2011. Some estimates suggest that it may eventually cost as much as $3.7tn when ... the long-term costs of caring for the wounded and the families of those killed [are factored in]. The most striking fact about the cost of the war in Iraq has been the extent to which it has been kept "off the books" of the government's ledgers and hidden from the American people. This was done by design. The most obvious way in which the true cost of this war was kept hidden was with the use of supplemental appropriations to fund the occupation. By one estimate, 70% of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 were funded with supplemental or emergency appropriations approved outside the Pentagon's annual budget. With the Iraq war treated as an "off the books" expense, the Pentagon was allowed to keep spending on high-end military equipment and cutting-edge technology. The Bush administration masked the cost of the war with deficit spending to ensure that the American people would not face up to its costs while President Bush was in office. [It] encouraged the American people to keep spending and "enjoy life", while the government paid for the occupation of Iraq on a credit card they hoped never to have to repay.
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