Paul Lachine

Der Preis des 11. September

NEW YORK: Die Terroranschläge vom 11. September 2011 durch Al Qaeda sollten den Vereinigten Staaten schaden, und sie taten es, aber auf eine Weise, die sich Osama bin Laden vermutlich nie hätte vorstellen können. Präsident George W. Bushs Reaktion auf die Anschläge kompromittierte Amerikas Grundprinzipien, untergrub seine Wirtschaft und schwächte seine Sicherheit.

Der Angriff auf Afghanistan, der auf die Anschläge vom 11. September folgte, war verständlich, doch der anschließende Einmarsch im Irak hatte mit der Al Qaeda absolut nichts zu tun – so sehr sich Bush auch bemühte, eine Verbindung herzustellen. Dieser aus eigener Entscheidung begonnene Krieg wurde sehr teuer – um ein Vielfaches teurer als die 60 Milliarden Dollar, von denen zunächst die Rede war –; zu enormer Inkompetenz gesellten sich dabei noch unredliche falsche Angaben.

Tatsächlich belief sich, als Linda Bilmes und ich Amerikas Kriegskosten vor drei Jahren berechneten, unsere konservative Einschätzung auf 3-5 Billionen Dollar. Inzwischen sind die Kosten weiter gestiegen. Da fast 50% der zurückkehrenden Truppen Anspruch auf irgendwelche Erwerbsunfähigkeitszahlungen haben werden und inzwischen mehr als 600.000 in medizinischen Einrichtungen für Veteranen behandelt werden, gehen wir nun davon aus, dass sich die künftigen Erwerbsunfähigkeitsrenten und Kosten für die Krankenbetreuung auf insgesamt 600-900 Milliarden Dollar belaufen werden. Die sozialen Kosten freilich, die sich in Selbsttötungen von Veteranen (über 18 pro Tag in den letzten Jahren) und zerrütteten Familien widerspiegeln, sind unkalkulierbar.

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