Thursday, March 27, 2008

The cost


San Mateo Daily Journal

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Letters to the editor

The cost of war

Although the world had never been completely free from war prior to 1914, until then, war had never been universal. But from 1914 to 1918, with World War I, total war was waged, and then again from 1939 to 1945, with World War II. In the latter, only 12 small nations of the Earth were not actually or technically involved and altogether 93 million people served in the armed forces of both sides.

At the 21st session of the International Red Cross in 1969, it was reported that more than 90 million people have been killed in wars since the 20th century began, over $2 trillion have been spent on arms and 130 conflicts on five continents have been waged. The Iraq war is running a tab of $12 billion a month — $16 billion including military action in Afghanistan. And they maintain, the economic downturn resulting from it is likely to be the greatest since the Great Depression. “That total, itself well in excess of $1 trillion, is not included in our estimated $3 trillion cost of the war,” Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist said. So we are spending more on this war than all the wars combined in the 20th century.

Ted Rudow III,MA

Menlo Park

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