Die wahren Kosten des Irakkrieges

Die wichtigsten Dinge im Leben sind – wie das Leben selbst – unbezahlbar. Das heißt allerdings nicht, dass Dinge zur Erhaltung des Lebens (oder einer Lebensart), wie die Verteidigung, nicht einer nüchternen und strengen wirtschaftlichen Analyse unterzogen werden dürfen.

Kurz vor dem jetzigen Irakkrieg sprach Larry Lindsey, Ökonom der Bush-Administration, von Kriegskosten zwischen 100 bis 200 Milliarden Dollar. Andere offizielle Regierungsvertreter dementierten dies umgehend. So zum Beispiel der Leiter des Verwaltungs- und Haushaltsbüros, Mitch Daniels, der die Summe auf 60 Milliarden Dollar korrigierte. Jetzt scheint es, als wären auch noch Lindseys Zahlen eine krasse Untertreibung gewesen.

Aufgrund meiner Sorge, dass die Bush-Administration die Weltöffentlichkeit über die Kosten des Irakkrieges womöglich ebenso hinters Licht führen könnte wie über die Massenvernichtungswaffen des Irak und dessen Verbindungen zur Al-Kaida, tat ich mich mit der Budgetexpertin Linda Bilmes von der Universität Harvard zusammen, um der Frage der Kriegskosten auf den Grund zu gehen. Als Kriegsgegner verschlug es uns die Sprache, als wir die Ergebnisse vor uns hatten. Unsere konservativen bis moderaten Schätzungen bewegten sich zwischen etwas weniger als einer Billion und mehr als 2 Billionen Dollar.

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