Linda Bilmes discusses Chilcot Inquiry and war costs

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Chilcot Inquiry shows that invasion of Iraq based on flawed intelligence, false narratives

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The long awaited report of the Chilcot Commission was made public on July 6th, after six years of investigation and testimony. The Commission had been strongly criticized for the lengthy delay.  (Linda Bilmes spoke to the Chilcot Commission in 2012).  However, the findings could not have been more devastating.  The main finding of the report is that the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was NOT NECESSARY .

Key conclusions | The Iraq Inquiry

  • There was “no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein” in March 2003 and military action was “not a last resort”
  • The UK “chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted”
  • Tony Blair’s note to George Bush on July 28, 2002, saying UK would be with the US “whatever”, was the moment Britain was set on a path to war
  • Judgements about the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”
  • Tony Blair told attorney general Lord Goldsmith Iraq had committed breaches of UN Security Council resolution 1441 without giving evidence to back up his claim
  • Ministry of Defence was “slow” to react to clear need for better equipment and it was not clear whose job it was to do so
  • Planning for post-war Iraq was “wholly inadequate”
  • Blair government “failed to achieve its stated objectives”
  • The legality of the war can only be decided by an international court

Source: iraqinquiry.org.uk

Read the executive summary here along with the statement of Sir John Chilcot:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/06/chilcot-report-read-the-executive-summary-and-sir-johns-statemen/

 

Linda Bilmes and Steve Clemons (Editor-at-large of the Atlantic) discuss military spending

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http://reinvent.net/seven-things-every-american-should-know-about-military-spending-post-911/?utm_source=Reinventors+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=3dce720710-ReinventJournalism&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b1d3ba4e2c-3dce720710-119143769

AND SEE THE GRAPHICS

http://reinvent.net/defense-diplomacy-and-development/?utm_source=Reinventors+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=3dce720710-ReinventJournalism&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b1d3ba4e2c-3dce720710-119143769

Bill Maher asks Joe Stiglitz about the $3 Trillion Dollar War (May 1, 2015)

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Joe Stiglitz being interviewed by Bill Maher

Real Time with Bill Maher.  Bill asks Joe about the $3 Trillion Dollar War and the opportunity cost of that money.

 

 

What are we willing to sacrifice in war on ISIS?

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What are we willing to sacrifice in war on ISIS?

The Boston Globe

March 11

Commentary by: Linda Bilmes

Topic: The costs of war

 THIS WEEK Congress took up the president’s request to use military force against the Islamic State. The president’s draft would authorize a wide-ranging effort over three years, but prohibits “enduring” ground operations. It would replace the 2002 authority for military action against Iraq, but leave untouched the sweeping 2001 law, enacted by Congress in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, to grant President George W. Bush permission to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, organizations, or persons he deemed involved in the planning or carrying out of terrorist attacks.

Inevitably, the Obama proposal is bogged down in partisan bickering; Republicans claim it is too narrow and Democrats say it is too wide and vague. More than 14 years after 9/11, with trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, what is urgently needed, and what has been absent from the debate, is a serious discussion of the big issues: How much are we willing to commit in money, national effort, and American lives in an attempt to meet this current threat?

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