Der Drei-Billionen-Dollar-Krieg

NEW YORK: Da sich am 20. März die US-geführte Invasion des Irak zum fünften Mal jährt, ist es Zeit für eine Bestandsaufnahme. In unserem neuen Buch The Three Trillion Dollar War nehmen Linda Bilmes von der Universität Harvard und ich eine konservative Schätzung der wirtschaftlichen Kosten des Krieges für die USA vor. Sie belaufen sich auf drei Billionen Dollar, zuzüglich weiterer drei Billionen Dollar für die übrige Welt – deutlich mehr als die Prognosen der Bush-Administration vor dem Krieg. Bushs Mannschaft hat die Welt dabei nicht nur im Vorfeld des Krieges über die möglichen Kosten getäuscht, sondern auch versucht, die Kostenentwicklung im weiteren Kriegsverlauf zu verschleiern.

Überraschen kann dies nicht. Schließlich hat die Bush-Administration auch über alles andere gelogen – von Saddam Husseins Massenvernichtungswaffen bis hin zu seinen angeblichen Verbindungen zur al-Qaeda. Tatsächlich ist der Irak erst nach der US-geleiteten Invasion zu einer Brutstätte für Terroristen geworden.

Die Bush-Administration erklärte, der Krieg würde 50 Milliarden Dollar kosten. Diesen Betrag geben die USA im Irak inzwischen alle drei Monate aus. Um diese Zahl ins rechte Licht zu rücken: Für ein Sechstel der Kriegskosten hätten die USA ihr Sozialversicherungssystem für mehr als ein halbes Jahrhundert auf eine solide Basis stellen können, ohne die Leistungen zu senken oder die Beiträge zu erhöhen.

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