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Friday, February 28, 2003

 
Paul Wolfowitz is challenging recently published estimates of the troop strength required to occupy Iraq (over 200,000) and the total cost for the operation ($65 - $90 billion, at least). It's always fun and exciting when those who've never fought in a war (Wolfowitz) go up against an organization that specializes in doing that. It's even more fun when these guys second-guess the pros, because it shows that the amatures really don't have a clue about what's going on. First off, despite all the rhetoric about the "unpredictability" of a war, there are methods for estimating (they don't call it an estimate for nothing... It's an educated guess, folks) the total cost of an operation. To say that it's impossible to do so is to negate decades of work by the military in coming up with costing proceedures. The military is a business, it has income and expenditures, and like any business it tries very hard to determine where its money goes and how much things are going to cost. It's o.k. to point out the nature of an estimate, i.e. that it's an educated guess, but it's simply not true that there's no way to know how much an operation is going to cost in terms of people and money. This smokescreen tactic is an attempt to deflate the negative impact of the larger estimates -- it's easy to see through it though because in the same article, after saying that it's impossible to estimate these sorts of things, Wolfowitz then gives the Pentagon estimate of what it would take to occupy Iraq (100,000 men and an unknown cost). Anyway, I prefer to trust the guys who do this all the time, and not a bunch of paper-pushers, when it comes to these estimates. It appears that the administration knows approximately how much a war is going to cost, but because of the bad economy they don't want to quote high numbers because it'd reduce the already weak support for war with Iraq.


Andrew 9:28 AM : |



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