Bush's Iraqi adventure will cost America - just America - a conservatively estimated $3 trillion. The rest of the world, including Britain, will probably account for about the same amount againAnd of course the US administration has been deliberately lying about the amount it is actually spending. And has been for years. And will try to dismiss this new book.
The second criticism - which we admit - was that we only look at the costs, not the benefits. Now, we couldn't see any benefits. From our point of view we weren't sure what those were.
It was worth reading the whole thing. And then wondering why this sort of spending is seen as necessary when it could have paid for
8 million housing units, or 15 million public school teachers, or healthcare for 530 million children for a year, or scholarships to university for 43 million students. Three trillion could have fixed America's social security problem for half a century. America, says Stiglitz, is currently spending $5bn a year in Africa, and worrying about being outflanked by China there: "Five billion is roughly 10 days' fighting, so you get a new metric of thinking about everything."