Le vrai prix de la guerre en Irak

Dans la vie, les choses les plus importantes, comme la vie elle-même, n'ont pas de prix. Mais cela ne signifie pas que les questions impliquant la préservation de la vie (ou d'un mode de vie), comme la défense, ne doivent pas être passées au crible de l'analyse économique froide et rigoureuse.

Peu avant la guerre d'Irak actuelle, lorsque Larry Lindsey, l'économiste de l'administration Bush, a suggéré que les coûts pourraient se situer entre 100 et 200 milliards de dollars, d'autres fonctionnaires haut placés ont rapidement élevé des objections. Par exemple, le directeur du Budget et du Management, Mitch Daniels, estimait quant à lui ce chiffre à 60 milliards de dollars. Il apparaît aujourd'hui que les estimations de Lindsey étaient grossièrement sous-estimées.

Inquiet à l'idée que l'administration Bush puisse être en train de berner tout le monde sur le coût de la guerre en Irak, comme elle l'a déjà fait sur les armes de destruction massive et sur ses liens avec Al Qaida, je me suis associé à Linda Bilmes, experte du budget à Harvard, pour examiner le problème. Même nous, qui sommes opposés à la guerre, avons été atterrés par ce que nous avons découvert : nos estimations, de modestes à modérées, varient d'un peu moins d'un billion de dollars à plus de 2 billions.

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