6 years ago: Happy Andrew Natsios Day

April 23, 2007, on this blog: Happy Andrew Natsios Day

On April 23, 2003, host Ted Koppel invited Natsios, then the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, on the program to talk about the Bush administration’s estimate of the cost of rebuilding Iraq.

ANDREW NATSIOS: This is $1.7 billion.

TED KOPPEL (Off Camera): All right, this is the first. I mean, when you talk about 1.7, you’re not suggesting that the rebuilding of Iraq is gonna be done for $1.7 billion?

ANDREW NATSIOS: Well, in terms of the American taxpayers contribution, I do, this is it for the US. The rest of the rebuilding of Iraq will be done by other countries who have already made pledges, Britain, Germany, Norway, Japan, Canada, and Iraqi oil revenues, eventually in several years, when it’s up and running and there’s a new government that’s been democratically elected, will finish the job with their own revenues. They’re going to get in $20 billion a year in oil revenues. But the American part of this will be 1.7 billion. We have no plans for any further-on funding for this.

How wrong was Natsios and the rest of the Bush administration?

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will ultimately cost the United States anywhere between $4 and $6 trillion, when the total cost, including long-term care for the war’s veterans, is calculated, says a new report from a top Harvard researcher that was released [in March 2013].

Plus: It has also now been 10 years since Charles Krauthammer wrote this:

Hans Blix had five months to find weapons [of mass destruction in Iraq]. He found nothing. We’ve had five weeks. Come back to me in five months. If we haven’t found any, we will have a credibility problem.

  • LL

    For $4-$6 trillion, we could have built a bunch of new schools to replace old, raggedy-assed ones here. Or bridges. Or roads. Or electrical infrastructure. Or water infrastructure.

    Instead, we paid to blow up Iraqi and Afghan infrastructure, kill a bunch of innocent people and make defense contractors and corrupt Iraqi and Afghan politicians richer.

    And two idiots still managed to blow up people over here, with homemade bombs using easily available materials.

    Way to go, Dick.

  • http://twitter.com/AbelUndercity Abel Undercity

    I’d call that figure a misunderestimation.

  • Cathy W

    $4-$6 trillion would cover the generally accepted estimate of “what it would take to bring every bridge in the nation up to a safe standard”, with trillions left over to hire teachers, firefighters, police, and other public servants. And think of all the people who could have had work on those projects…
    Or… if the federal debt were $4-$6 trillion lower, would we be talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare? Would we be sending air traffic controllers on furlough? (I can’t give this a definite ‘no’, because of the ‘drown the government in a bathtub’ types, but the idea would have a lot less traction…)

  • ReverendRef

    For $4-$6 trillion, we could have built a bunch of new schools to
    replace old, raggedy-assed ones here. Or bridges. Or roads. Or
    electrical infrastructure. Or water infrastructure.

    But . . . but . . . but . . . schools and bridges and roads and infrastructure are so boring.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    And if there’s anything that power outages, boil warnings, and bridge disasters are definitely *not*, it’s boring.

    I think you’re onto something here.


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