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Counting the Cost

From this CSM article on the latest estimates of the cost of the Iraq war. The lowball figure is $2 Trillion. Or as it says in the article "Direct operating costs" of the war are around $4.5 billion a month according to the Marines, $7.1 billion according to Stiglitz and Bilmes."

"A new study by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes concludes that the total costs of the Iraq war could top the $2 trillion mark. Reuters reports this total, which is far above the US administration's prewar projections, takes into account the long term healthcare costs for the 16,000 US soldiers injured in Iraq so far.
"Even taking a conservative approach, we have been surprised at how large they are," the study said, referring to total war costs. "We can state, with some degree of confidence, that they exceed a trillion dollars."

The higher $2 trillion amount takes a 'moderate' approach. Both figures are based on the projection that US troops will remain in Iraq until 2010, with steadily decreasing numbers each year."

The BBC story on this same topic calls out the health costs that Steiglitz and Blimes factor in, sayting that of the approximately 16,000 US wounded that: "20% of injured US personnel have brain injuries, 6% have had amputations and another 20% have other serious injuries."
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