This video from the USA says about itself:
Cost Of Iraq & Afghanistan Wars Is Absolutely Staggering
22 February 2014
“The U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 trillion to $6 trillion, taking into account the medical care of wounded veterans and expensive repairs to a force depleted by more than a decade of fighting, according to a new study by a Harvard researcher.
Washington increased military benefits in late 2001 as the nation went to war, seeking to quickly bolster its talent pool and expand its ranks. Those decisions and the protracted nation-building efforts launched in both countries will generate expenses for years to come, Linda J. Bilmes, a public policy professor, wrote in the report that was released Thursday.
“As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives,” the report says. “The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come.””* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
*Read more here from Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post.
From weekly The Observer in Britain:
Cross-party group accuses Tories and Labour amid fears report will not be published until after general election
Jamie Doward and Chris Ames
Saturday 10 January 2015 22.48 GMT
Furious MPs are planning a parliamentary debate to challenge an alleged “stitch-up” that could delay the report of the Iraq war inquiry until after the general election.
A cross-party coalition has demanded that parliament’s backbench committee allocate half a day to discussing the continuing delay in publishing the Chilcot inquiry’s findings, which are expected to include severe criticism of the UK’s decision to join the US-led invasion in 2003.
The group pushing for the debate, which includes members of Plaid Cymru, the SNP and Labour as well as Tory MP David Davis, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, and former Lib Dem Home Office minister Norman Baker, believes the government must ensure that the public are allowed to see the report as soon as possible.
The increased pressure for publication came as the government confirmed that it will hold the report back if it is not completed by the end of next month, apparently contradicting assurances by the prime minister that the timing of its publication was independent of him.
David Cameron said in May that he hoped the inquiry would publish its findings by Christmas 2014. However, last month he sought to distance himself, saying: “I’m not in control of when this report is published. It is an independent report; it is very important that these sort of reports are not controlled or timed by the government.”
Last week, however, the cabinet office minister, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, confirmed that Cameron may choose not to place the report before parliament once Sir John Chilcot has submitted it to him. Wallace told the House of Lords: “The government has committed that, if this is not available for publication by the end of February, it will be held back until after the election.” He said this was because of “the previous government’s commitment that there would be time allowed for substantial consultation and debate of this enormous report when it is published”.
A spokesman for Cameron did not respond to requests for clarification over the apparent contradiction in views.
Elfyn Llwyd, the leader of Plaid Cymru’s Westminster group, who is pushing for the debate, said he could not understand why the government had imposed the February deadline. He said that, as parliament was sitting until 30 March, there was still time to debate the report ahead of the election. He expressed a fear that Labour and the Tories – who supported the war – had closed ranks to delay it until after the election.
“It could be a stitch-up between both [Tory and Labour] benches,” Llwyd added. “When things like war arise, you do have a closing-in.”
Llywd said a debate would explore the government’s role in influencing the timing of the report. “Given the strength of feeling and the all-party nature of the application, I am fairly confident it [the debate] will be given some time, certainly within the next month,” he said.
A spokesman for the inquiry confirmed that once Cameron received the report it would be for him to decide when to publish it, “although the inquiry expects that, in practice, a publication date will be agreed between the government and the inquiry”.
He declined, however, to say whether the inquiry agreed with the government-imposed February deadline.
The spokesman said that the inquiry was carrying out a “Maxwellisation” process, under which people it intends to criticise are given the chance to respond. “No date for publication has been fixed,” the spokesman said. “The inquiry’s timescale will be influenced by the Maxwellisation process.”
Llywd said he understood that a draft of the report had been finished almost five months ago. “It looks to me as if not enough effort is being made to publish it,” he said. “I can’t imagine at all that the Chilcot committee would be happy with this stalemate.”
Baker added that there were “serious questions that needed to be addressed and answered” before the election: “If there are people blocking publication, the British people need to know why.”
DELAYS in publishing the Chilcot Inquiry report into the Iraq war are a “scandal,” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday. Hoping to embarrass Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy — a supporter of the war — she had called for the report to be published before May’s general election: here.