Iraq: October 4, 2003

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Given the decrepit state of Iraq's oil facilities, it's unlikely that more than $15-20 billion a worth a year can be extracted over the next few years. It is currently costing about $20 billion a year to rebuild Iraq, and that's with a major effort to keep the corruption and theft in check. Without those controls, the Iraqis would need $30 billion or more to get the same amount of reconstruction. The United States is going to have to make up the shortfall to keep reconstruction going. Meanwhile, it's costing about a billion dollars a week to pay for the American military effort against the Baath Party and it's allies (al Qaeda, Arab nationalists and Islamic radicals) inside Iraq. 

 

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