The Cost of War

The National Priorities Project, a U.S.-based organization whose mission is "to educate the public on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level", has this genuinely astonishing ticker that keeps a running total of the cost to the U.S. taxpayer of the Iraq war.

As I'm posting this, their calculator is running at around $358,378,585,180

No, that's not a typo.

Three Hundred and Fifty-eight Billion Dollars

According to the most up-to-date and presumably authoritative figures I can find (at the CIA World Factbook site), Iraq's GDP is somewhere around $94.1 billion (2005 est.)

In other words, as David Weinberger and Paolo Valdemarin once noted, if Dubya really wanted control of Iraq that badly, it would have been one hell of a lot cheaper to just buy the whole darn country outright.

In fact, given the amount spent on the war to date, he could have picked up the bumper Costco-sized Iraq four-pack (now with 100% less Saddam!)

Just in case you need reminding, btw, the original budget for Operation Iraqi Freedom, back in March 2003, was in the order of $75 billion. Even that was an obscenely large figure.

Three hundred and fifty-eight BILLION. I feel sick.

(Description of how the NPP calculates the numbers.)