Happy Fifth Birthday Iraq War :-(
A number of people have been marking the fifth anniversary of the US war in Iraq (I think that’s the most accurate term for it). Paul Krugman has a blog entry pointing to an article from five years ago which might seem eerily prophetic to some or as blindingly obvious now as it was then to others. Hans Blix has a short retrospective in the Guardian that points out the ridiculous nature of the original case for war and some of the wider ramifications in the global diplomatic area. Joseph Stiglitz and Lisa Bilmes have recently written a book on the price of the war in Iraq, this article contains a short precis of the main costs that they discuss.
The war in Iraq has clearly been an expensive failure. Hindsight is always so accurate, but what disgusts me the most is that it was easily discernible how much of a failure and how expensive (both in terms of money and suffering) the war would be – as the above articles make clear. It was obvious that there were no weapons of mass destruction, it was obvious that there was no link to Al Qaeda. It was not so obvious, but still very likely, that a war would decrease global security, that a long occupation would be required and that the costs of such a war and occupation would be very high. Above all it was certain that Iraqi people would suffer greatly.
And in the meantime we wait expectantly for the next war.