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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

'No US Peace Dividend after Afghanistan'

Stiglitz and Bilmes:

No US peace dividend after Afghanistan, by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, Commentary, FT: Nearly 12 years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began, a war-weary America is getting ready to leave. ... But the true cost of the war is only just beginning. ...
The number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans receiving government medical care has grown to more than 800,000, and most have applied for permanent disability benefits. Yielding to political pressure, the White House and Congress have boosted veteran’s benefits ... and made it easier to qualify for disability... But the number of claims keeps climbing. ... To recruit volunteers to fight in highly unpopular wars, the military adopted higher pay scales and enhanced healthcare benefits... Meanwhile, there is a huge price tag for replacing ordinary equipment that has been consumed during the wars...
... The US has already borrowed $2tn to finance the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – a major component of the $9tn debt accrued since 2001... Today,... it could have been hoped that the ending of the wars would provide a large peace dividend... Instead, the legacy of poor decision-making from the expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will live on in a continued drain on our economy – long after the last troop returns to American soil.

    Posted by on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 01:07 PM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Iraq and Afghanistan | Permalink  Comments (60)


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