Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Costs Of The Wars

Even the narrowly defined financial costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq occupations are quite high:

The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, with the overall tally for Iraq alone nearing a half-trillion dollars, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which provides research and analysis to lawmakers.

The figures call into question the Pentagon's estimate that the increase in troop strength and intensifying pace of operations in Baghdad and Anbar province would cost $5.6 billion through the end of September.

And what does all this money buy? Safety and security for us? How would you measure that? And what about "victory", the only goal president Bush accepts? How would you define that?

I shouldn't ask questions which can't be answered. But note that while money is spent on those wars the Department of Homeland Security is in disarray:

The Bush administration has failed to fill roughly a quarter of the top leadership posts at the Department of Homeland Security, creating a "gaping hole" in the nation's preparedness for a terrorist attack or other threat, according to a congressional report to be released today.

As of May 1, Homeland Security had 138 vacancies among its top 575 positions, with the greatest voids reported in its policy, legal and intelligence sections, as well as in immigration agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Coast Guard. The vacant slots include presidential, senior executive and other high-level appointments, according to the report by the majority staff of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Whatever the reasons for all those vacancies they certainly don't make me feel more secure.