Rethinking the Iraq War

 “Apart from its tragic human toll, the Iraq War will be staggeringly expensive in financial terms. This sobering study by Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard professor Linda J. Bilmes casts a spotlight on expense items that have been hidden from the U.S. taxpayer, including not only big-ticket items like replacing military equipment (being used up at six times the peacetime rate) but also the cost of caring for thousands of wounded veterans—for the rest of their lives.

This newsletter presents a number of views on the Iraq war – 10 years later.  A Rand Corporation blog bemoans:

“The lesson most Americans seem to have drawn from Iraq is “never fight a land war in Asia.” This advice was first given by Douglas MacArthur to President Kennedy in 1961. It was reiterated two years ago by then Secretary of Defense Bob Gates. Another version of this lesson is contained in the Obama administration's official defense guidance, which directs that the United States no longer size its military for large-scale stability operations”

This Rand Corporation blog can be accessed at:

Arianna Huffington agrees with the views of Stiglitz and Bilmes that:

 “The Iraq war didn't just contribute to the severity of the financial crisis, though; it also kept us from responding to it effectively. Increased indebtedness meant that the government had far less room to maneuver than it otherwise would have had ... The result is that the recession will be longer, output lower, unemployment higher and deficits larger than they would have been absent the war.

This Huffington Post article can be accessed at:

Reimagining history is a perilous exercise. Nonetheless, it seems clear that without this war, not only would America's standing in the world be higher, our economy would be stronger. The question today is: Can we learn from this costly mistake? This article from the Washington post can be accessed at: