Wednesday, 1 July 2009

$75 Billion Annual Cost of the Conflict in Iraq

I was struck by this page in Losing My Virginity: The Autobiography of Sir Richard Branson published in 2007, p461.

The Pentagon suggested that the cost of the conflict in Iraq would by approximately $75 billion per year over ten years. In accepting the Nirwano Peace Prize on 8 May 2003, Dr Priscilla Elsworthy of the Oxford Research Group said,

"We must compare this $75 billion to the costs of building international security in other ways.

(a) In the year 2000 world leaders estimated that it would require $25 billion to $35 billion annually to raise levels of health and welfare in Africa to Western standards.

(b) Unesco estimate that all the world's children could be educated if we were to spend $7 billion per year for ten years.

(c) Clear water and sanitation could be provided for everyone in the world for $9 billion annually.

(d) HIV and Aids now claim 5,500 lives a day around the world - more than the Black Death, and twelve million in children in Africa have been orphaned by the disease.. Kofi Annan has called for $10 billion annually to address the Aids epidemic.
So, all these goals could be reached, all this suffering prevented worldwide for less than the United States spends on military action in Iraq."

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