Saturday, September 08, 2007

CAN YOU FIX IRAQ?



















FIX IRAQ


March 2003 is an important point in time because that marks the beginning of the current war in Iraq. I must admit that I was not completely supportive of the war from the beginning, and as each day passes, I have grown more and more upset about what has happened.

THE ECONOMIC COST OF THE WAR:

Yet the costs for Pentagon operations are likely to pile up in years ahead. By 2010, war expenses might total $600 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Much depends on when - and how many - US military personnel can be withdrawn from the Iraqi theater of operations. SOURCE: The rising economic cost of the Iraq war


The same report also contained the following quote:
One estimate of the military price tag: $5 billion each month.

Can anyone imagine 5 billion dollars a month? I know that I cannot.


A new study by Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001, and Harvard lecturer Linda Bilmes concludes that the total costs of the Iraq war could top the $2 trillion mark. Reuters reports this total, which is far above the US administration's prewar projections, takes into account the long term healthcare costs for the 16,000 US soldiers injured in Iraq so far: SOURCE: Report: Iraq war costs could top $2 trillion


The economic cost of this war has grown to a level that no normal person can even begin to understand!


THE HUMAN COST:

United States Soldiers:

As I am typing this, I just saw the following headline:

U.S. military: 7 troops killed in Iraq

BAGHDAD - The U.S. military on Friday announced the deaths of seven more American troops in combat, including four in Anbar province, the Sunni stronghold where U.S. officials say a tribal revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq has brought dramatic improvements in security. Source: IRAQ

The same story reports: Those deaths raised to at least 3,760 members of the U.S. military who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Civilian casualties: This number is controversial, so let me point you to a few sources:

Iraq Body Count: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
They report:
71,302 – 77,852 civilians have been killed.


U.N.: 14,000 Iraqis killed in 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/18/iraq.main/index.html
More than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the first half of this year, an ominous figure reflecting the fact that "killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread" in the war-torn country, a United Nations report says.


The sources may differ on the total, but almost everyone agrees that you are talking about almost 50,000 civilians that have been killed.


There is a website that has a lot more information about the cost of the war. You can read it at this link:
A FAILED "TRANSITION": THE MOUNTING COSTS OF THE

Now that we have looked at the cost, I want us to consider some of the latest news reports that may show what we have gotten for our money and our blood:


Iraqi Government Gets Poor Grade from GAO

GAO Report: Iraq Falls Short of Benchmarks

Report on Iraq's National Police Shows Inefficiency


Petraeus Says Progress in Iraq `Uneven,' National Unity Lacking


I could post many more headlines, but most readers of this blog are probably already familiar with what is going on in Iraq.

The question is simple - what is the solution? The first thing should be obvious to everyone, so why is some guy who has a blog trying to figure this out? The government of the United States should be working to resolve this issue, but after all this time people are dying and money is being spent at a rate that no one can even fathom. It seems obvious the government cannot come up with a solution. So is there a solution?

A few things must be considered as one tries to develop a plan:


You must ask the following of any proposed solution:

1. What will be the immediate consequences? If we pull out all the troops soon and too quickly, most agree that the country will descend into a full-blown civil war. There would possibly be mass killings between Sunnis and Shiites. The death toll could be large. The argument against this is very simple. With the United States there, around 50,000 civilians have died anyway! So, we stay civilians die we leave civilians die.


2. What will the long-term consequences be? If we pull out, Iraq could end up being controlled by Iran and become a major problem for us down the road. But the argument against this is simple as well. If we stay for years we may prevent this from happening, but at what cost? How many billions do we really have? We save Iraq from Iran and terrorists, but we economically destroy the United States!


There could possibly be some other questions that are important, but I think the long term and short-term consequences are the most important.

So readers and fellow bloggers of all ages, can you write out a possible solution to the situation in Iraq? It is obvious the government we pay to resolve situations like this seem to be incapable of doing so, therefore, it is left to us. I want people to take a few hours to research what is going on and try to actually formulate a reasonable plan and post it on your blog and send me the link so I can point people to it. If you don’t have a blog, then send it to me and I will post it here at Worldview. You can send your Iraq plan here:
Tsrk30@sbcglobal.net


I will continue to read and research and see if I can formulate a plan myself. If I do so, I will post it here.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:02 PM   0 comments links to this post

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