WAR HAZARD RECOVERY: The Top Secret Cost of the Iraq and Afghnanistan Wars
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 10, 2010
Contractors currently outnumber troops on both fronts with more on the way.
Never does a cost estimate include the huge
DIRTY TOP SECRET WAR HAZARDS RECOVERY
Cost’s of the War Hazards Act to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies, AIG, CNA, ACE/ESIS, Zurich.
Nor do they include the additional burden placed on the VA system by Disabled Contractors who are denied benefits by the insurers. These insurers who are falling over each other to take the huge premiums.
Further many of these Disabled Contractors and their families land in our social services systems to “survive”.
How will we figure the cost of ruined lives, ruined families?
August 5, 2010 (Chicago Tribune) – It’s a shame to let accountants spoil the charming romance of war, but sometimes they insist. Recently the Congressional Research Service reported that our military undertakings in Iraq and Afghanistan have marked an important milestone. Together, they have cost more than a trillion dollars.
That doesn’t sound like much in the age of TARP, ObamaCare and LeBron James, but it is. Adjusted for inflation, we have spent more on Iraq and Afghanistan than on any war in our history except World War II. They have cost more in real dollars than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.
But we can only wish we were getting off so lightly. Neither war is over, and neither is going to be soon. The House just approved $37 billion in extra funding to cover this year, and the administration wants another $159 billion for 2011. That won’t be the final request.
Worse, the CRS figure is only part of the bill so far. It noted the sum doesn’t include the “costs of veterans’ benefits, interest on war-related debt or assistance to allies.” All of those will go on after these wars are over, which someday they may be.
Scholars Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia and Linda Bilmes of Harvard published a book in 2008 called “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” which gives a more realistic estimate. But that, too, is an understatement. They figure that when all long-run costs are factored in, the tab will be at least $5 trillion and could reach $7 trillion, or nearly twice as much as this year’s entire federal budget.
And that was two years ago. I asked Bilmes for an update, and she said some obligations, like veterans’ medical and disability compensation costs, “have exceeded our earlier projections.” Do I hear $8 trillion?
The beauty of the current conflicts, however, is that we can pretend we don’t have to pay for them. Unlike past wars, when taxes were raised to defray the cost, these have been financed with the help of borrowed funds. But eventually the astronomical bill will have to be paid. Read the entire Column here