In the days before the Iraq War, the Pentagon estimated that it would cost about $50 billion. Democratic staff members in Congress largely agreed. When White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey suggested six months before the war that the mission could cost $100 billion to $200 billion he was criticized by his colleagues and he "resigned".
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, prior to the invasion, testified before Congress that the Iraqi oil revenues would cover the costs.
"The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 billion and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years," Wolfowitz said in March 2003.
The reality is the operation is costing more than $300 million a day. That translates to the little $100 billion requests for additional funding being requested by the Bush Administration. Go back in time, project into the future and the real cost will be something like $700 billion.
The IHT the real cost of the Iraq War has an editorial dealing with the costs. That is just one of the components that has the American public questioning the purpose and future of this war. It is becoming easier for politicians, Democrats and Republicans, to consider a forced stop. It will be the primary focus of the 2008 presidential election. It is affecting the tone and tenor of the race.
Hillary Clinton yesterday is looking more and more like she will be out-flanked by her own party. She is reacting very cautiously. "I think we will eventually have to move to tougher requirements on the administration to get their attention." Not exactly fighting words.
Maliki is using some fighting words but they are directed at American politicians and the Bush Administration. Maliki is complaining that the Iraqis do not have enough US supplied guns and materials. He is arresting some members of the Shiite militias. It looks as if the future of some political careers and the American efforts in the war are going to come down to what Maliki does and what he accomplishes with a lot more US money. How did this happen?