The three trillion dollar war will be a devastating reckoning of the true cost of the Iraq war - quite apart from its tragic human toll - which the Bush administration has estimated at $50 billion, but which Stiglitz and Bilmes will show underestimates the real figure by approximately six times. The authors expose the gigantic expenses which have so far not been officially accounted for, including not only big ticket items like replacing military equipment (being used up at six times the peacetime rate) but also the cost of caring for thousands of wounded veterans - for the rest of their lives. Shifting to a global perspective, the authors investigate the cost in lives and damage within Iraq and the Middle East generally. With chilling precision, they calculate what the money spent on the war would have produced had it been further invested in the growth of the economy, in the US and around the world, and in infrastructure building. Stiglitz and Bilmes write in simple language, which makes the details they present, and the sums they add up, all the more disturbing. This book will change forever the way we think about the Iraq war - and about the cost of war generally.
Joseph Stiglitz was Chief Economist at the World Bank until January 2000. Before that he was Chairman of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors. He is currently University Professor of the Columbia Business School and Chair of the Management Board and Director of Graduate Summer Programs, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and is the author of the best-selling Globalization and Its Discontents, The Roaring Nineties, and Making Globalization Work, all published by Penguin. Linda J. Bilmes is a Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University and has written widely on the cost of the Iraq War, veterans issues, and federal workforce reform. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe,and the Atlantic Monthly. In 1998 she coauthored Gebt uns das Risiko Zuruck (Give Us Back the Risk), a best-seller in Germany. Her forthcoming book (The People Factor) is on civil service reform.