Iraq war to cost at least $3 tn: Joseph Stiglitz

March 1st, 2008 - 1:08 am ICT by admin  

Washington, Feb 29 (Xinhua) The Iraq war will cost Americans between $3 trillion and $5 trillion, including military spending, broader economic costs and decades of benefits and medical care for combat veterans, a Nobel prize-winning economist said. In a testimony at Congress Thursday, Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and a professor at Columbia University, gave his latest estimate of the war’s economic impact, the Cox News service reported Friday.

He attributed the dramatic increase to the continuing intensity of the war, which was launched five years ago, and the likelihood that operations there would continue for at least another year.

Fighting in Iraq has so far taken the lives of 3,973 US troops and left nearly 29,300 wounded.

Its staggering expense, however, has already dwarfed the 2003 White House war estimate of $60 billion, and the price continues to rise.

Since the federal government has been running budget deficits before the war began, Stiglitz estimated that the US government has borrowed $1 trillion - much of it from overseas lenders - to finance the war.

By 2017, he said, the country will have added $2 trillion to the national debt to cover Iraq war expenses. That means additional interest payments for taxpayers.

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