Thursday, April 20, 2006

The 94 Billion Dollar Question

In the past we’ve used this blog to discuss and debate the war in Iraq. We’ve talked in terms of military strategy, political implications, and moral responsibility. But let’s put all that aside for a second and talk dollars--94 billion of them, to be exact. WaPo is reporting that:
The cost of the war in U.S. fatalities has declined this year, but the cost in treasure continues to rise, from $48 billion in 2003 to $59 billion in 2004 to $81 billion in 2005 to an anticipated $94 billion in 2006, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. The U.S. government is now spending nearly $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan, up from $8.2 billion a year ago, a new Congressional Research Service report found.
Let’s take a pragmatic look at things. Certainly there is great value to stabilizing Iraq. But assuming that the cost of the war continues to grow, will we reach a point when the cost of fighting the War exceeds the value of victory? I’m not saying we’re there yet, but on some level this boils down to opportunity cost, and its getting damn expensive.