Sunday 7 January 2007

The Economics of War

From Neil Gaiman's Journal - Terry Jones on the sums of war.

The amount of money the US has spent on the current war in Iraq will hit $500bn this year. Terry Jones proposes some alternative ways such a sum might have been spent. He closes with an interesting metric - to date each dead Iraqi has cost the US approximately $1 million each.

Hardly value for money it might be said but of course the US is not prosecuting the war as a means to kill loads of Iraqi's. It's a shocking number none the less.

$500billion is a lot of money and to help you get an idea of just how mind numbingly huge a number it is here are some comparisons:
It does just go to show what a US government can do as the richest state on the planet when it set its mind to it. It did just such a thing in 1947 - rather than leaving Europe to handle the mess it had created for itself The Marshall Plan led to the rapid post WWII economic and social recovery of western Europe and forever changed this part of the world for the better. In 2006 money The Marshall Plan only cost around $130bn so I'm pretty sure an equivalent for Iraq today would have cost a lot less than $500bn.

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