Can we afford to stay in Iraq ?

  • natch - money well-spent.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Hmm - er, tighten belts, review options,er....

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bloody Hell FIRE - that'd keep me in beer vouchers for AGES!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sod it - time to leave 'em to it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Book Reviewer
HANSARD, 17th May 2004: "To ask the Secretary of State " -

1. Dr. Vincent Cable (Twickenham) (LD): What estimate he has made of the expected cost to the Government of maintaining a military presence in Iraq in financial year (a) 2004–05 and (b) 2005–06. [173149]

The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Geoffrey Hoon): <snip>
Of the £3.8 billion the Chancellor has set aside for operations in Iraq, £850 million was spent in 2002–03 and a further £1.5 billion was drawn down in supplementary estimates in 2003–04. Precise future costs are difficult to forecast.

So, since 1 April 03 to date, the cost of being in Iraq has been , er,
let's see now, £15000M divide by one, er....443 that's , er,

£34M A DAY........

Hmmm, no wonder this year's MoD spending round has caused the bean-counters a tad of difficulty .....

Le Chevre

Disclaimer - Goatman counting: " ONE - TWO - LOTS - MANY " - if the maths is inaccurate blame Mrs Bradley !
That thieving Scots bastard at no. 11 didn't 'set aside' the money - most of it is coming out of MoD's existing budget, on the basis that we'd only waste it on training or uniforms or kit anyway.

I wonder why New Labour seem to have so much difficulty telling teh truth.... :twisted:
:roll: Spending money on there's a novel and completely unworkable idea. But you miss the Whitehall-speak import of "setting aside" cash for Iraq. It has been set aside. It's just that it's not "new money". Some might call it robbing Peter to pay Paul, but that's New labour for you. To**ers.
Goatman said:
Long piece on what the money's getting spent on at

.... puts it in perspective ( especially the piece about Water)

Le Chevre
Here's a piece on Spam spending of the Iraqi oil revenue from today's New Yoik Times: Sorry it's so long, but sometimes the links don't work.

Struggling with bureaucratic problems in spending the money appropriated by Congress to rebuild Iraq, American authorities are moving quietly and quickly to spend $2.5 billion from a different source, Iraqi oil revenue, for projects employing tens of thousands of Iraqis, especially in the country's hot spots, Bush administration officials say.

The spending program, which was started unannounced, has been undertaken in consultation with Iraqi ministers, despite misgivings that the oil revenue belonged to Iraq and that it should be set aside for use when Iraq's sovereignty is restored, scheduled for June 30.

Because of deteriorating security and complex delays in contracts that have slowed the spending of the $18 billion in Congressionally appropriated money, occupation authorities say they decided recently that they had to spend the Iraqi money to build schools, factories and oil fields, and to turn Iraqis away from violence.

"The security needs were just overwhelming," said an occupation official. "Would we rather have been able to save the money and have a nice kitty? Sure. There's always a tension between putting money to work right away and having it available for a tough year next year. This is the way we resolved it."

Bush administration officials say they believe that the spending program has helped stabilize Iraq, although most note that negotiated arrangements allowing insurgent groups to operate peacefully in Falluja, Karbala, Najaf and other troubled areas also have aided in reaching that goal.

Iraq's overall domestic budget of roughly $20 billion for 2004, financed mostly by oil revenue, was approved last year by the Program Review Board, a unit of the Coalition Provisional Authority — the American-led occupation authority in Iraq.

But this spring, Bush administration officials said, it became clear that rising global oil prices were presenting Iraq with a windfall, and a decision had to be made about whether to save that extra money or disburse it in a one-time expenditure that might not be available in the 2005 budget.

American occupation officials said the $2.5 billion had helped pay for security needs like police cars and uniforms, as well as repairs of schools, power grids, oil fields, state-owned factories and other sources of employment. Additional funds have been used for vocational training for young Iraqis "to get some of these kids off the streets, doing something productive for the future," an occupation official said.

Some of the money has gone to American military teams operating since the beginning of the occupation 14 months ago. The teams have become famous in Iraq for the way they have spread across the country, commissioning repairs and paying for them from satchels bulging with $100 bills shipped by plane from a Federal Reserve vault in East Rutherford, N.J. Much of that money came from Iraqi assets frozen in the United States during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

At least $1 billion has been distributed in this fashion — by some estimates more than $2 billion.

"The military commanders love that program, because it buys them friends," said an administration official, referring to the cash distribution. "You want to hire everybody on the street, put money in their pockets and make them like you. We have always spent Iraqi money on that."

The $2.5 billion to be spent from Iraqi oil funds has several components, the biggest of which is $1 billion to be spent on 15 to 21 military or security projects around the country. The rest of the money is to be used for vocational training, infrastructure repair, principally in the oil and electricity sectors, and increased supplies of food. A small amount has been set aside for future compensation of victims of Saddam Hussein's government and displacement since the occupation began.

A principal goal is to employ Iraqis and compensate for the shortfall in financing that was supposed to have come from American sources.

One reason for distributing cash for quick gains, some administration officials say, is that controls on the $18 billion appropriated by Congress last fall to rebuild Iraq may make it harder to operate in that fashion, so policy makers have decided to use what they have before the formal end of the occupation, now scheduled for June 30.

Early last fall, L. Paul Bremer III, the American administrator in Baghdad, said he hoped that most of the $18 billion would be spent by the time sovereignty was transferred.

In November, however, the transfer of sovereignty was accelerated. Meanwhile, what was intended as a spending program to showcase the benefits of the American occupation has been slow in functioning because of security problems and cumbersome contracting regulations.

Of the $18 billion appropriated by Congress, the American occupation has made spending "commitments" of $7.7 billion, with the hope of reaching $10 billion by the time Iraq officially regains self-rule on June 30. But these figures simply represent money that is reserved or to be reserved for certain purposes. Only $3.2 billion in contracts for actual construction projects have been awarded, although the number could rise before June 30.

A senior administration official said that, contrary to early hopes, it would probably take five years to use up the $18 billion.

"The expectations for spending were unrealistic," said the official said. "You can't just pull 2,300 projects off the shelf and build them without vetting. It takes time to figure out if you're going to build a power plant, where it should be and who should build it."

Another problem has been a lag in donor countries coming forward with the money they had pledged last September at a donors' conference in Madrid. Of $13 billion pledged then, less than $2 billion has been received.

"Donor countries can see that the money that is already there is not being spent, because they can't spend it," said a development official involved in that fund-raising effort. "That removes the pressure on the donors to come through with the money they pledged."

More than a year ago, after the fall of Mr. Hussein, some conservatives in the Bush administration envisioned Iraq as a model for free enterprise, replacing the big money-losing state-owned industries in everything from petrochemicals to pharmaceuticals.

Instead, the accelerated government-driven employment and construction projects are cementing Iraq's reliance on the state as its central economic engine, just as it had been under Mr. Hussein.

"Lots of people wanted to change this, and change that, and transform the economy of Iraq," said an administration official. "But then we quickly realized that we had to put Humpty Dumpty back together first, and then give it over to the Iraqis and let them figure out the best way to change their country."

Accordingly, when sovereignty is transferred next week, Iraq will be what this official called "a centralized socialist state" on which virtually all citizens are dependent for basic needs, putting a particular burden on the fragile interim government selected less than three weeks ago.

Of Iraq's eight million employed workers, for example, an estimated 700,000 work for the government directly, 400,000 work for state-owned enterprises, many of them operating in the red, and 200,000 work for various armed forces or security branches, a number expected to grow.

But those numbers measure the equivalent of full-time employees, and some administration officials say that a more realistic number is two million Iraqis, one out of every four with a job, who are dependent on the state for employment.

In addition to the tens of thousands of jobs to be created by the new oil-financed program, American officials say 1.5 million jobs will be generated by the Congressionally appropriated funds that are only now starting to be spent.

Beyond these state programs, most Iraqis are given free or partially subsidized food, costing $4 billion this year. Electricity supplied at subsidized rates costs $1.7 billion, and the cost of distributing low-cost kerosene and other fuel to Iraqis is estimated at $3 billion to $5 billion.

But occupation officials say the spending of money now to generate employment will revive state industries, so that in the future they can be privatized and serve as the country's economic base.

"All the programs we have started have the full support of the Iraqi ministries of planning and finance," said an occupation official.

"There are two ways of looking at this," the official said. "First is the absolute need to find jobs for millions of young people who need training. But second is to increase the capacity of companies and of the oil infrastructure to become healthy and employ more Iraqis in the future."


Book Reviewer
From yesterday's Hansard:

Mr. James Clappison (Hertsmere) (Con): How many reservists are deployed in Iraq. [179375]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Ivor Caplin): All our reserve forces have performed extremely well when asked to do so in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. I place on record again the House's utmost appreciation for all their efforts and for the continuing support of their employers. As at 16 June, 1,483 reservists were serving in Iraq.

To date, a year after returning from Op Telic 1, not one of the 3,500 part time pongos/ RNR's and Air Force reservists who deployed have received the campaign medal in recognition of their service. Many have subsequently left the TA.

(Having said that, damn few of the Regs have either! Fcukin' scandalous incompetence IMHO........)

Le Chevre
They're apparently only making about 300 medals a month. Work it out for yourself how long it'll be before everyone involved in Telic 1 gets theirs. I ain't holding my breath. :twisted:
Of course you can wear the miniature, just so long as you pay for it!!!

And yes the cost of Iraq does explain the disappearance of (some of) the Financial Retention Incentives (among other things) - admittedly they are a waste of money, but giving them to some and then taking them away will certainly make some of our personnel jump ship/tank/plane (delete as appropriate!) Financial Reason Indicating Time To Early Retire (FRITTER).

Ahhhh Gordon - well managed Sir - Time to close the contingency war chest! Did you ever open it????

Im still waiting for my bloody Sierra Leone OSM!!


Book Reviewer
Filbert Fox said:
Im still waiting for my bloody Sierra Leone OSM!!

Check DCI/Army/303/03 dated 31st Feb 03 -

( all Leicester City fans were disallowed by the personal orders of General Sir Mike << Go, Villa ,Go!>> keep up that fox! :lol: )

<< laissez les bon temps r-o-o-o-oulez!>>

Le Chevre

Mr Happy

Ermmm, not that anyone cares but 850,000,000 + 1,500,000,000 = 2,350,000,000 / 444 days (01APR03 - 17JUN04) = 5,292,792.79 per day.

Or 5.3 million a day.

It's probably all toss though because, as any bean counter can tell you, there are right down costs, appreciation, pension differences, etc. It's just a figure.


Book Reviewer
Mr Happy said:
Ermmm, not that anyone cares but 850,000,000 + 1,500,000,000 = 2,350,000,000 / 444 days (01APR03 - 17JUN04) = 5,292,792.79 per day.

Or 5.3 million a day.

It's probably all toss though because, as any bean counter can tell you, there are right down costs, appreciation, pension differences, etc. It's just a figure.
see disclaimer in earlier post:
Disclaimer - Goatman counting: " ONE - TWO - LOTS - MANY " - if the maths is inaccurate blame Mrs Bradley !

( that said, your version includes the cost of the war @ £850M.....
the £1,500M is since 01 Apr 03 shurely ? )

Happy to go with your better math, if you think it's right....are you happy to be spending even £5M a day in Iraq ?

'cos I think the money would be better spent elsewhere, even within MoD....

let's see....carry one , add the thumb to the other 12 tongue out to aid

so this month it's cost us so far £115M up to today ?

Le Chevre

Mr Happy

If it's 1.5 yards (as we say in the trade)
then it's cheaper still - only 3.4 million (bar as we say)(which might be closer to your original 34million - if you wanted to knock a nought off we've spotted the error).

Errm, am I happy? Reasonably on a bang for buck expenditure I think this is one of our cheaper wars and we're performing above our grade and initial investment costs (unlike all the other coalition participants) so yes, I am.
£5m, £3.4m or £15m it's all a load of doo-doo anyway. The bean counters include in the sums things like wages, which the last time I checked, was the same when I'm back home in blighty or getting suntanned/eaten by jungle beasties/frozen in the mountains/anywhere else Tony sends me to make himself feel important! (Delete as applicable). Also the cost of fuel etc, but no mention of the savings in fuel & light for empty barracks in UK or BFG.


War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Just as long as we claim it back off the Iraqis later- I read yesterday that their oil revenue (if they stopped bombing it) earns £45,000,000 a day...
fFrom today's (Friday's) Grauniad:

The United States has spent more than $126bn on the war in Iraq, which will ultimately cost every American family an estimated $3,415, according to a new report by two thinktanks.
The report, published yesterday by the leftwing Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy in Focus also counts the human costs.

As of June 16, before yesterday's nationwide attacks, up to 11,317 Iraqi civilians and 6,370 Iraqi soldiers or insurgents had been killed, according to the report, which is titled Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War.

The death toll among coalition troops was 952 by the same date, of which 853 were American. Some 694, were killed after George Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1 last year. Between 50 and 90 civilian contractors and missionaries and 30 journalists have also been killed, the report says.

In a separate USA Today/ CNN/Gallup Poll released last night, for the first time a majority of Americans said the US-led invasion of Iraq was a mistake. In all, 54% of those polled said the move was a mistake, compared to 41% three weeks ago.

"We are paying this enormously high price for failure," Phyllis Bennis, the report's lead author, said yesterday. "It's not as if we are becoming more safe. It's not as if we are bringing peace to Iraq or democracy to the Middle East."

There was no immediate re sponse to the report from the White House yesterday, but the administration has insisted it will stay in Iraq until it has brought peace and stability in the country.

It was reported yesterday that the US central command had put 25,000 more troops on standby in anticipation of an upsurge in attacks after the formal transfer of sovereignty to a caretaker administration next Wednesday.

Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, said he could not confirm the figures in volved, but the US military "definitely has plans to deal with whatever may confront us". He denied US forces were facing an insurgency in Iraq. "An insurgency implies something that rose up afterwards ... It is a continuation of the war by people who never quit," he told NBC television.

"We know the enemy, which is a mixture of al-Qaida-type terrorists like [Abu Musab al] Zarqawi and the killers of Saddam's regime, who have basically made an alliance with each other, are going to target this next six-month period to create as much chaos ... as they can." However, he added: "The longer-term goal is to get Iraqis in the frontlines."

On top of the $126.1bn war spending approved by US Congress to date, another $25bn is likely to be spent by the end of this year.

The report predicted the war will ultimately cost each US household $3,415; its annual costs would be enough to provide healthcare for more than half of the 43 million US citizens who lack medical insur ance. Danielle Pletka, an analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, rejected such budget comparisons as intellectually dishonest. "That's not the way budgets work," she said. "I don't think healthcare has been robbed to pay for Iraq."

Paying the Price quotes a University of Texas economist, James Galbraith, as predicting that although the expenditure would initially boost the economy, long-term problems were likely, including an expanded trade deficit and high infla tion, with the spike in oil prices adding to the downward drag on the US economy.

However, Mr Wolfowitz predicted Iraqi oil would begin to flow at faster rates and help offset the cost of the reconstruction of Iraq. "There's been $20bn of Iraqi money that's almost never mentioned. Ten billion of it was leftover [UN] oil-for-food money. Ten billion is brand-new oil revenues. There's another $8bn that's projected, if the killers don't destroy the pipelines, by the end of this year," he said.


Book Reviewer
claymore said:
fFrom today's (Friday's) Grauniad:

However, Mr Wolfowitz predicted Iraqi oil would begin to flow at faster rates and help offset the cost of the reconstruction of Iraq.

Er...that'll be the Mr Wolfowitz who convinced Ar Dubya that US troops would be welcomed on the streets of Baghdad with songs and garlands of marigolds then will it ?

Or the Paul Wolfowitz who sees Eye-rack as a potentially safer zone for US bases in the Middle East than neighbouring Arabia ?

Hmmm....why am I not convinced......given the guy's track record to date I would doubt his word if he said

' hey, guess what?......the Sun will rise this morning'

Le Chevre
Too true, Goatman. It was Cheney, not Dubya, the secret service whisked off to the command bunker in Maryland on September 11. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Rice are the most dangerous people in the world today. Scary thought that they're actually pulling the strings of the world's only superpower. :cry:


Book Reviewer
Update on Paul Wolfowitz...leading NeoCon confirmed for post at Head of the World Bank.

( Filbert Fox - did your OSM for Silkman come through yet ?)

Now TWO years after deploying to the Sandbox still no sign of an Op Telic gong.....< yawn....are we there yet.....>

Le Chevre