So who counted the cost of this war?

From a speech by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, former World Bank vice-president and an academic at the Columbia Business School:

"The public had been encouraged by the White House to ignore the costs of the war because of the belief that the war would somehow pay for itself or be paid for by Iraqi oil or US allies.

"When the Bush administration went to war in Iraq it obviously didn't focus very much on the cost. Larry Lindsey, the chief economic adviser, said the cost was going to be between $US100 - 200 billion - and for that slight moment of quasi-honesty he was fired.

"(Then Defence Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld responded and said 'baloney', and the number the administration came up with was $US50 - $US60 Billion. We have calculated that the cost was more like $US 3 Trillion.

"Three trillion is a very conservative number, the true costs are likely to be much larger than that."

[Excerpt of an article by Peter Wilson, The Australian]

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