Daily Revolt

November 13, 2007

Report: Wars Cost Average U.S. Family $20,000

That is money that could be used to pay groceries, mortgages, medical care, or education. That Nightline report last night was an eyeopener as to the quagmire now arising in Afghanistan. We do not have enough troops and resources to prevail over the experienced Taliban troops. The Iraq war, and its cost, have guaranteed that we will not win these wars. These wars are bankrupting us as nation, not to mention the loss of the lives:
A new study by congressional Democrats says "hidden costs" have driven the price of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to about $1.5 trillion, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

That figure is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested, according to the report by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee, which examines the hidden costs of the wars, the Post said.

[...]A 21-page draft obtained by the newspaper estimates that the wars have cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000, the Post said.

The study concludes that the cost to the average family could more than double, to $46,300, over the next decade, with estimated economic costs to the United States reaching $3.5 trillion if the conflicts continue at their current pace, the Post said.

But Congress just keeps on giving Bush money we don't have:
With the House set to vote later today on $50 billion of the President’s requested $196 billion Iraq supplemental, wouldn’t it be nice if a few of our leaders reminded us of what we could be doing with all this money?

I’d like to make a suggestion: Along with the $50 billion that Congress will allocate (with stipulations to end the American occupation by the end of 2008), the House should take another vote to allocate $30 billion of the remaining request to specifically fix all of the healthcare problems encountered by the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

And what are we getting for that money? The fact that we are forced into supporting a thug ruler in Pakistan shows how poorly the war against terror is going. A very poor investment:
Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Tuesday called on Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to resign and ruled out serving under him in a future government after she was placed under house arrest for the second time in five days.

Bhutto also said it was now likely her Pakistan People's Party would boycott January parliamentary elections, and indicated that she wanted to build an alliance with other opposition leaders, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to restore democracy.

We shall see what the result of the troop reduction will have on the Iraq war. Will things go back to what they were prior to the surge? It certainly won't help. In any case, our troops won't be coming home anytime soon. Our government has no plans. They are just busy preparing for next years elections. You can't afford to look weak as a candidate. Politicians posture America pays:
The first big test of security gains linked to the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq is at hand. The military has started to reverse the 30,000-strong troop increase and commanders are hoping the drop in insurgent and sectarian violence in recent months — achieved at the cost of hundreds of lives — won't prove fleeting.

The current total of 20 combat brigades is shrinking to 19 as the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, operating in volatile Diyala province, leaves. The U.S. command in Baghdad announced on Saturday that the brigade had begun heading home to Fort Hood, Texas, and that its battle space will be taken by another brigade already operating in Iraq.

Between January and July — on a schedule not yet made public — the force is to shrink further to 15 brigades. The total number of U.S. troops will likely go from 167,000 now to 140,000-145,000 by July, six months before President Bush leaves office and a new commander in chief enters the White House.

As the U.S. troop reductions proceed, it should become clear whether the so-called "surge" strategy that increased the U.S. troop presence in and around Baghdad resulted in any lasting gains against sectarianism. Critics note that the divided government in Baghdad has made few, if any, strides toward political reconciliation that the Americans have said is crucial to stabilizing the country.

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