The White House just announced that it would be requesting $250 billion more for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Most of that will be thrown down the Iraq drain rather than the Afghanistan one, and more money will no doubt be thrown after. It's a fair guess that the Iraq mess alone will cost us at least another $250 billion before it ends (and when it ends, it ends for us, not for them).
Thing is, the population of Iraq is only 26 million and change. $250 billion is nearly ten thousand dollars per Iraqi. $10,000 won't buy much from Halliburton, but to an Iraqi it's serious money. (Iraq's GDP is only $1000 per capita at the current exchange rate.)
I'm sick of being told that nobody can criticize the president unless they have a better plan than he does, so here's one: give the money to the Iraqis.
Why not? Leave--today--while putting aside $260 billion and a bit, to be delivered to every single Iraqi man, woman, and child when the country is stable. Bribe them to stop fighting.
This was originally a piece of snark to illustrate just how much money we're flushing away in Iraq. It still is, but I gotta confess, the idea is also growing on me.
If it works, we won't be out any money that we weren't already going to spend.
If it doesn't work--if we wind up leaving Iraq to anarchy--well, I would love to see a plan that doesn't leave Iraq in anarchy.
That last bit wasn't snark--I really would love to see that.