Cost of Iraq war on par with cost of Vietnam war

Newsweek has an article on the troops needs for armor not being met. It’s got some interesting statistics, including this little bit about the cost:

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the House committee that military operations in Iraq are now costing about $4.7 billion a month—a sum that approaches the $5 billion a month (on average) that the Vietnam War cost, adjusted for inflation.

And that cost is without the armor required. Think how bad it gets (costwise) if the troops get what they need.

Speaking of rising costs, here is a quote from the same article about the need for a draft and the so-called silent draft already in place:

Another senator and Vietnam vet, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, even suggested the nation might have to take a long-term look at reviving the draft. Few others went that far, but one knowledgeable Army officer points out that Rumsfeld’s standing “stop-loss” order—basically a freeze on retirements—is a “silent draft.” It is not expected to be lifted “for the foreseeable future,” the officer said.


Since the costs of war and Vietnam have been mentioned, I figure I might as well throw in the obligatory Straight Dope article on “Would Vietnam war money have been better spent bribing the enemy to stop fighting?” just for the trivia nuts out there.

Hah, funny counterfactual.

They’re probably cheating a bit on the “average cost” of the Vietnam war; when people talk about the war they don’t mean those pissant years in the 1950s and so on.

Why is anyone is still joining this army? That ridiculously named “stop-loss” order looks like a breach of contract that would result in a lawsuit for any organization that doesn’t make its own laws. Even if technically legal, it’s certainly a breach of trust in a high-risk business. Who wants to sign up with an employer whose contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on?

Desperate people.

Yeah, I’m also guessing that social rejects and people who aren’t very bright is all such an army could get. Where’s Jason with the recruitment statistics? Come on, I know you’ve already googled them… :wink:

I wouldn’t quite go to those extremes, but I can imagine people from a poor background can see the army as their only way to get a college education, for instance.

Actually, joining the US army used to be a really sweet deal. Your college would be paid for, (worth approx. $50,000) you and your loved ones got excellent health care, room and board are taken care of, you gain valuable job skills, (that wasn’t just empty hype… depending on your position, you could learn some very useful skills) plus employers tend to look very favorably on an honorable discharge.

However, Bush cut back the health care package, he roped the servicemen into longer tours of duties than they thought they’d be getting, and he’s been throwing our troops into a lot of life threatening situations. So… now being a part of the US army isn’t nearly as attractive as it used to be.

Thanks again, Bush!

It’s apparently impossible to get out of the military now, too, thanks to stop-loss.

Umm… isn’t that what the army does? Goes into dangerous areas?

I think the focus was on the throwing part. To describe the disrespect this administration has shown the military.

But that’s a horse that’s been beaten to a mushy red mess.

Not at all - you just have to tell everyone who will listen that you’re gay! :roll:

I’m sure they’ve temporarily suspended that; they always do in wartime. For example, the very first hit for “gay stop loss”:

That this horrible, nightmarish threat to unit cohesion is apparently only a threat in peacetime makes me think even they don’t believe it. They just don’t culturally like gays.

Something tells me that if you fellate one of your fellow soldiers in public you will definitely get the boot war time or not. I guess it just comes down to how bad do you want to get out? Walk the walk and all that. :)

Didn’t that more or less happen in MASH? Didn’t help there.

You can still get out of the marines, just have your mom brutally murdered by your dad, stuffed in the trunk of her car and then left at the bus station.

Worked for my cousin.


Or have your sibling KIA.

Or all four of them.

Then you get saved by Tom Hanks.