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Former Commerce official puts cost of Iraq and Afghan wars at $1.3 trillion by 2010

Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Linda Bilmes, writing in the NY Times, estimates total costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan could reach $1.3 trillion in 5 years, if disability payments for injured soldiers, interest costs and the impact of higher oil prices are included.

Bilmes estimates a total cost from March 2003 to July 2010 at $1.3 trillion as follows: $718 billion operational costs | $315 billion health care and disability costs | $220 billion in increased deficit financing (interest) costs | $119 billion cost from increases in the cost of oil.

Bilmes served as chief financial officer of the US Commerce Department from 1997 to 2001 and was a consultant for the Boston Group for 10 years.

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