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The Economic Consequences of a War with Iraq

Much has been written about the national-security aspects of a potential conflict in Iraq, but there are no studies of the cost. A review of several past wars indicates that nations historically have consistently underestimated the cost of military conflicts. This study reviews the potential costs of a conflict including the postwar expenses that might be required for occupation, humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, nation-building, along with the implications for oil markets and macroeconomic activity. It considers two potential scenarios that span the potential outcomes, ranging from a short and relatively conflict-free case to protracted conflict with difficult and expensive postwar reconstruction and occupation. The estimates of the cost to the United States over the decade following hostilities range from $100 billion to $1.9 trillion.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d13b/d1387.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1387.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1387
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