War Draining U.S. Economy

From the September 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

Iraq—expected to be the most expensive war in 60 years—will deal a huge blow to the U.S. economy and further compromise America’s military readiness.

In a thorough article in the July 17 San Francisco Chronicle, James Sterngold recorded that the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost American taxpayers $314 billion, with the Congressional Budget Office projecting an additional $450 billion in expenses over the next 10 years. “That could make the combined campaigns, especially the war in Iraq, the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years …. The concern is that soaring costs, given little weight before now, could play a growing role in U.S. strategic decisions because of the fiscal impact” (emphasis ours throughout).

One think tank in Washington estimated that the Korean War, in current dollars, cost about $430 billion, and that Vietnam cost $600 billion—whereas Iraq could exceed $700 billion.

One reason for the astronomical costs is that America is essentially taking this war on by itself. The 25 other countries in Iraq make up only a small fraction of the force, and another 11 countries have left since the campaign started.

Bad financial estimates have made matters worse. The Congressional Budget Office estimated back in September 2002 that the war would cost $1.5 to $4 billion a month. It actually costs $5 to $8 billion. For the current fiscal year, the cost has been $5.6 billion per month, according to the Pentagon.

Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said: “Two years ago, no one expected the war would take this long. … On a per-troop basis, this war has been far more costly than expected, almost double the estimates” (ibid.).

Sterngold paraphrased another military consultant, Edward Luttwak: “[T]he U.S. military, Luttwak said, is the best on Earth at fighting conventional wars, but one of the worst at policing and counterinsurgencies.”

The Iraq war, according to Sterngold, “is harming U.S. taxpayers by saddling them with an enormous debt burden, since the war is being financed with deficit spending.”

The Bible prophesies of a military attack coming directly upon the United States. How could this be, we asked in a January 2002 article, when the U.S. is the most militarily superior nation in the world?

In that article, we foretold that economic woes would have a direct impact on America’s military preparedness: “The U.S. has downsized its defense program to the point where it can no longer fight a war on two fronts. The current campaign in Afghanistan may look impressive, but prophecy indicates that what is left of America’s strength will be ‘spent in vain’ (Leviticus 26:20). Perhaps this war on terrorism will have exhausted American forces by the time the real enemy attacks.”

The Bible also speaks of terrorism crippling this nation economically (see also our free book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet). This will also compromise America’s military preparedness.

A dark time is coming in U.S. history. But thankfully, this time of suffering will turn America to God—and usher in a time of unparalleled joy and peace for all nations where no nation will need to rely on military strength for its security—a time when weapons will be made obsolete (see Isaiah 2:1-4 and Micah 4:1-4).