Cost of Iraq War to top $1.25 trillion dollars says academic
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
September 20, 2005
The total cost of the Iraq War for the UK, the USA, Iraq and other nations is likely to top US$1.25 trillion dollars according to Keith Hartley, a professor at the University of York’s Center for Defence Economics.
In a study released earlier this summer, Professor Hartley estimated the war’s cost using official government figures and including the impact on world output caused by the surge in oil prices prompted by the conflict. Crude oil prices have risen from the $35 a barrel in April 2004 when hostilities began in Iraq to more than $70 a barrel last week in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Professor Hartley says the loss of world output due to the rise in oil prices up to 2010 will amount to $1 trillion, while the military cost to America alone will be more than $260 billion by the end of 2006. Britian’s military share will top $7.5 billion.
Hartley suggests that it would have been more cost effective to simply pay former ruler Saddam Hussein to leave. “If, at the outset, the Americans anticipated the Iraq operation would cost $100 billion, they could have given Saddam Hussein and his family $20 billion to go, $50 billion to Iraq and still have had $30 billion left over,” says Hartley.
You can read more of Hartley’s comments in his June 22 press release
This article is adapted from an University of York press release. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views of mongabay.com.