Cost overruns halts work on massive US-funded Ministry of Defense in Afghanistan

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As usual, ridiculous projects with massive cost overruns at the US taxpayer expense.  This time, the US has spent more than $107 million on new office building for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, during which the money has been squandered and is now so over-budget and behind schedule that the US has run out of funds to complete the project.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-needs-millions-more-to-complete-afghanistans-pentagon/2013/12/07/6d9314b6-5b62-11e3-801f-1f90bf692c9b_story.html?wpmk=MK0000203

 

 

More than 8000 Iraqis killed in 2013, according to new UN report

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The violence in Iraq continues to escalate, according to the latest UN figures, with more than 650 Iraqi civilians killed in November 2013.

The UN reports that  7,157 civilians and 952 security forces have been killed so far in 2013.    Perhaps most tragically, so many of these innocent victims have been killed while doing the most mundane daily tasks – shopping for food, drinking coffee in a cafe, etc.   Meanwhile, the failure of the Iraqi security forces to quell this violence is weighing heavily on the negotiations in Afghanistan, where the Loyal Jinga voted overwhelming to ask US forces to stay on pretty much indefinitely.  No one really wants this outcome but everyone is fearing the kind of resurgent strife that is growing in Iraq.

Harvard Kennedy School Impact Newsletter features Bilmes latest research on war costs

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http://www.hks.harvard.edu/news-events/publications/impact-newsletter/archives/summer-2013/the-costs-of-the-iraq-and-afghanistan-wars

Linda Bilmes op-ed on Syria

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Linda Bilmes writes that the US should consider the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan before striking in Syria.

http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2013/09/06/economic-considerations-for-syria-linda-j-bilmes

Iraq Mortality estimated at more than 400,000

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A new peer-reviewed study estimated that mortality in Iraq during the war years resulted in 405,000 more deaths than would have occurred in the absence of the conflict.

Previous estimates of mortality in Iraq attributable to the 2003 invasion have been heterogeneous and controversial, and none were produced after 2006. The purpose of this research was to estimate direct and indirect deaths attributable to the war in Iraq between 2003 and 2011.     Mortality in Iraq Associated with the 2003–2011 War and Occupation.

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