From the Christian Science Monitoron a “new study by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes concludes that the total costs of the Iraq war could top the $2 trillion mark.”
, which takes into account not only defense spending, but the wide range of economics associated with fighting a foreign war (medical costs, lost productivity, higher oil prices, a larger US deficit and greater global insecurity caused by the war) is deemed ‘moderate’ in it’s approach.
In the political realm, Stiglitz is championed as being leftist on his views on Iraq by his previous association with the Clinton administration and negative views on globalization (he’s not vocally against free trade though). Still, many conservatives are wary that even if his estimates are exaggerated, there is cause for concern that the true economic impact of the war isby the Bush administration.
Some would argue that the cost of not going would be even greater, pointing at a detterance of another attack like 9/11. Yet, facts continue to vindicate anti-war views that there was no link between Saddam and terrorists and the revelation that there was no active WMD program in Iraq. Sadly, now that the debate has turned from reasons for invasion to reasons for extraction, neither Democrats nor Republicans have a solid grasp on their exit strategy, relying only on bombast and posturing. Thusfar, the only political entity with anyare the Libertarians, though without current representation in federal government, those plans represent little more than wishful thinking.