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Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq

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  • Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq


    An amusing and informative article (IRAQ). Some journalist actually
    has done a good job, compiling various statistics and doing a
    relatively deep analysis.

    i

    In article <[email protected]>, United Press International wrote:

    *(This is the first installment of United Press International's
    *seven-part series on the U.S. presence in Iraq.)
    WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- The liberation of Iraq was to
    have been the war that paid for itself in spades, and gave U.S.
    corporations the inside track on the greatest energy bonanza of the
    21st century. Instead, it has become a fiscal nightmare, a monetary
    Vietnam that already accounts for around 15 percent of the U.S.
    annual budget deficit, a figure likely to only grow remorselessly
    into the unforeseeable future.
    The unforeseen cost of the war is already attracting
    powerful and influential critics, most worryingly to U.S. President
    George W. Bush, from within the GOP itself.
    On July 26, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana,
    chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told National
    Public Radio that rebuilding Iraq is certain to cost U.S. taxpayers
    tens of billions of dollars over the next few years. He estimated
    the rebuilding costs alone at $30 billion.
    "But they do not wish to discuss that," he said.
    In financial terms, it should have been a sure thing. The
    Energy Information Administration records that Iraq is believed to
    have the second-largest reserves of high quality, easily accessible
    oil in the world: more than 112 billion barrels.
    In the run up to this year's Iraq war, conferences and
    studies commissioned by hawkish conservative think tanks in
    Washington debated and prepared models for privatization of the
    Iraqi oil industry with, of course, major U.S. participation.
    A Heritage Foundation study by Ariel Cohen and Gerald
    O'Driscoll argued, "The Bush administration should provide
    leadership and guidance for the future Iraqi government ...
    (including) a massive, orderly and transparent privatization of
    state-owned enterprises, especially the restructuring and
    privatization of the oil sector."
    Commented John B. Judis in The New Republic Jan. 20, "The
    study has been well-received by administration neo-conservatives."
    And according to reports by Jamie Dettmer in Insight
    magazine and Judis in The New Republic, Eliott Abrams, now senior
    director for Near East and North African Affairs on the National
    Security Council, even authored a proposal in December calling for
    U.S. rather than U.N. management of Iraq's oil fields after U.S.
    conquest (or liberation) and occupation.
    Neo-conservative pundits with equal faith and fervor argued
    that Iraqi oil revenues would finance the country's own
    reconstruction after the war and that they could even be used to
    offset some U.S. military operating costs, surely a cheap price to
    pay for liberating the Iraqi people from the terrible yoke of
    President Saddam Hussein?
    But it hasn't worked out that way.
    The cost of the war itself exceed previous public
    projections from the office of the Secretary of Defense. At an April
    16 news conference, Pentagon comptroller Dov Zakheim acknowledged
    that the cost of the war to that point came to $10 billion-$12
    billion. But the cost of returning troops to base would be another
    $5 billion-$7 billion, plus another $9 billion for the 3-1/2 weeks
    of combat operations, bringing the total cost at that point to
    between $24 billion-$28 billion.
    Since then, the continued cost of occupying Iraq and of the
    continued pacification and counter-guerrilla operations mounted
    there has been widely estimated at around $1 billion a week.
    Combining these two figures -- the Pentagon's own admitted
    costs of the war and the generally accepted cost of occupation
    operations, the costofwar.com Web site has estimated the cost of the
    war for the fiscal year after it took place at $76 billion.
    Costofwar.com also notes interest rates on the
    $1-billion-a-week occupation costs will make them $1.5 billion a
    week, or $78 billion per year. And even that figure may prove
    optimistic, as it assumes larger numbers of U.S. troops will not be
    required and the current levels of violence against U.S. forces will
    not escalate either.
    The federal budget deficit for the coming year has been
    projected by the Bush administration's own Office for the Management
    of the Budget at $455 billion: the largest in history. That means
    the Iraq war and its consequences alone will comprise 15.5 percent
    of the annual federal deficit at a time when it is larger, and
    rising faster, than ever before. Far from being a windfall to the
    U.S. economy, the Iraq war has already proven itself to be a ball
    and chain around the economy's neck.
    What happened to the vast oil production bonanza that was
    going to flow from Iraq? It hasn't happened and quite possibly never
    will. No one doubts the oil is there. But what the war planners and
    energy strategists never factored into their considerations was
    that, far from welcoming the U.S. Army and Marines as their
    liberators, the Iraqis -- Sunni and Shiite alike -- might resent any
    continued U.S. military occupation and very quickly make it too hot
    to handle, which is exactly what has happened.
    The Pentagon hawks and their favorite energy strategists
    also turned out to have no strategy for rebuilding Iraq or
    maintaining security in the oil fields and pipelines running from
    them.
    First, they assumed an almost bloodless march to Baghdad
    instead of three weeks of high-speed and utterly successful, but
    still heavy, fighting. Collateral damage to oil facilities was
    considerably greater than anticipated.
    Second, and far more important, the grand strategy, insofar
    as there was one, anticipated an orderly takeover of occupation
    duties by an undersized U.S. military force that could rapidly be
    half evacuated. This plan ignored the warnings of Army Chief of
    Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki that hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops
    would be needed to ensure security in Iraq, including the security
    necessary to rebuild and operate the country's oil industry.
    Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz even hung Shinseki
    out to dry publicly for making this estimate. But since then he has
    had to swallow crow.
    Wolfowitz and even his gung-ho boss, Defense Secretary
    Donald Rumsfeld, have been forced to acknowledge that at least
    200,000 U.S. troops, or more than a quarter of the standing strength
    of the U.S. Army, will be needed to occupy Iraq for the foreseeable
    future. And that kind of presence costs money: currently $1 billion
    a week.
    So far, no significant amounts of Iraqi oil have been
    produced for world markets since the war ended. Therefore Iraqi oil
    exports, which were running at 2.6 million to 2.8 million barrels
    per day before the war began in March, have now further dropped.
    The complete failure of two successive U.S. administrators
    in Baghdad to restore security, order and basic services to Iraq is
    a major reason why this has not happened.
    The administration, indeed, has been unable to even recruit
    any significant number of volunteers from conservative think tanks
    or the federal government to volunteer to work in Iraq for the next
    year or two, so the occupation administration there remains
    seriously undermanned.
    But there is a second reason that is in large part a
    consequence of the first -- U.S. planners never anticipated the
    rapid emergence of nationwide guerrilla war against the U.S.
    occupation, which is already costing up to one U.S. soldier killed
    per day. And as part of this guerrilla war, sabotage operations
    against oil pipelines are already widespread.
    Even with 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, they are spread far
    too thinly to aggressively fight the guerrilla war, lock down Iraq's
    borders with Iran and Syria and protect the oil facilities and
    pipelines at the same time. Furthermore, the troops currently
    deployed are not trained in police tactics.
    Pentagon officers speaking on condition of anonymity to
    United Press International have said at least twice the current
    manpower -- 300,000 U.S. or allied troops -- may be necessary to do
    this.
    In the meantime, the supposed "macro-economic" benefit of
    "liberating" Iraqi oil for the world market not only has not
    happened, precisely the opposite has occurred. Iraq is now in
    far-worse position to export either crude or refined oil to the
    world markets. As a result, the continuing effect of the war has
    been to strengthen the market position of the three leading global
    producers, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran, while keeping global
    energy prices relatively high and thereby adding a further burden to
    the U.S. annual balance of trade deficit, already by far the largest
    of any country in world history.
    And even if Iraqi oil finally starts to flow under optimum
    conditions, the total amount of revenue realistically projected from
    it would do no more than balance the already horrendous costs of the
    U.S. occupation.
    John Cassidy made the relevant calculations in the July 14
    issue of The New Yorker. He wrote: "Assuming that oil prices hover
    around twenty-five dollars a barrel, which is in the middle of
    OPEC's target range (twenty-two to twenty-eight dollars a barrel), a
    resurgent Iraqi oil industry producing six million barrels of oil a
    day for export would generate about fifty-five billion dollars a
    year in revenues."
    But the cost to the United States of occupying Iraq is
    already running at between $52 billion to $78 billion a year on the
    U.S. government's own projections. And even if none of that $55
    billion went to offset the costs of U.S. occupation, divided among
    the 30 million people of Iraq, it comes to, as Cassidy wrote "about
    five dollars per person per day -- enough to place Iraq above the
    World Bank's global poverty line of two dollars a day, but not by
    very much."
    This is hardly a region-transforming bonanza.
    Yet so confident were Office of the Secretary of Defense
    planners and their neo-conservative allies of the coming oil bonanza
    from Iraq that they openly advocated using it, as Judis wrote in The
    New Republic "to remake the Middle East in our democratic,
    capitalist image by leveraging Iraqi oil production to undermine
    Saudi dominance in the region and, perhaps, to destroy OPEC itself."
    Instead, the escalating woes of Iraq and the soaring costs
    of the war look likely to boost the Organization of Petroleum
    Exporting Countries and, by imposing huge additional budgetary
    strains on the United States at the worst possible time, weaken
    democracy and capitalism back in the United States itself.

    *(Next: Iraq oil recovery risky, hopeful)


  • #2
    Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq

    In article <[email protected]>, Casey wrote:
    Ignoramus10776 said for all posterity...
    An amusing and informative article (IRAQ). Some journalist actually has done a good job, compiling various statistics and doing a relatively deep analysis.
    And exactly what the hell does this have to do with divorce or relationships???
    married and divorced people will pay the cost of iraq occupation...

    i
    Casey Never assume malice for what stupidity can explain.

    Comment


    • #3
      Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq

      Ignoramus10776 wrote:
      In article <[email protected]>, Casey wrote:
      Ignoramus10776 said for all posterity...
      An amusing and informative article (IRAQ). Some journalist actually has done a good job, compiling various statistics and doing a relatively deep analysis.
      And exactly what the hell does this have to do with divorce or relationships???
      married and divorced people will pay the cost of iraq occupation...
      That's a problem right there. If never-married singles don't have
      to pay, then marriage will be threatened by the live-togethers who
      are discouraged from legal marriage to avoid taxes.

      (Do we need a constitutional amendment, Igor? Maybe we could call it
      "Defense of Defense". After all, it doesn't need to do what its name
      says, based on a recent precedent. :-)
      --
      Tsam

      Comment


      • #4
        Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq

        Please don't feed the trolls

        --
        Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines


        Comment


        • #5
          Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq


          "Tsam Nami" <[email protected]> wrote in message
          news:[email protected]
          And exactly what the hell does this have to do with divorce or relationships???

          Surely you jest!
          There have been times I felt the strongest urge to *liberate* my ex.


          Comment


          • #6
            Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq

            Yes! I will feed you Rick.

            Just Rick wrote:
            Please don't feed the trolls--Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines

            Comment


            • #7
              Analysis: Soaring costs of 'rescuing' Iraq

              On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 10:33:47 +0300, Xenos the elder
              <[email protected]> wrote:
              Yes! I will feed you Rick.
              That'd be one way to give him gas.

              Cheap, too.
              Just Rick wrote:
              Please don't feed the trolls--Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines

              Comment

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