Iraq already to cost more than Viet Nam in half the time. (1 Viewer)

blackadder

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...Overall, he said, "we're easily headed toward $600 billion." That would top the $536 billion cost of Vietnam in today's dollars. World War II cost an inflation-adjusted $3.6 trillion.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-11-16-iraq-costs_x.htm

In the end you can probably almost double the $600 billion projection.

And this is just direct costs as calculated by the government's dodgy accounting standards. Long term follow-on costs like care for disabled veterans will increase that number substantially.

Where does all this money go?

We had 500,000 troops in Viet Nam at the peak. We were bombing like crazy and had more high intensity combat operations. Yet we are already surpassing what it took 10 years to spend in Viet Nam.
 

BullDawg

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http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-11-16-iraq-costs_x.htm

Where does all this money go?

We had 500,000 troops in Viet Nam at the peak. We were bombing like crazy and had more high intensity combat operations. Yet we are already surpassing what it took 10 years to spend in Viet Nam.
Contractors. This didn't start with Bush II either (for those who think Haluburton started this craze). It actually started under Bush I and continued with Clinton.

Remember the "peace dividend"? It involved the downsizing of the military. One small problem...the various military missions (especially in the support role) still had to be fulfilled. The "answer" was to contract out every support role possible. The unofficial mantra became "If you can't pack it (as in packing gear on your back), contract it." It looked good on paper with less "boots" to support via the DoD and VA. Less military retirement checks. Less military families and the support needs that come with them.

Fast forward to today....

We're stuck in a protracted conflict that "requires" rebuilding the a nation other than the U.S. So who's left to do this? Not the military. We simply don't have enough troops to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure (buildings, communications, power, water/sewer, roads/bridges, etc.). What we have left are the infamous "no-bid" contracts. Even the military itself has become overly (and dangerously IMO) dependent on contractors to fulfill support roles that 15-20 years ago were taken care of internally.

And all of it costs.

Consider this.

An E-5 over 6 years makes 2,273.70/month (basic pay before tax). That equals 27,284.40/year. Now, if that person is in a field of expertise that is needed to rebuild Iraq...say communications...they can perform the same job as a contractor and get paid $100,000+ (base pay). Their employer is in business to make a profit, so you know they are likely charging the government in excess of $200k/employee. I know I'm using very "open" figures and not including other benefits alloted either the military member or civilian contractor. But even with the simplistic figures I've provided it becomes pretty evident there is a very wide gap here.

One other factor to consider. Many, if not most, of the contracted employees in Iraq were once in the military as well. I know several personally. Their military training wasn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Where was the return on that investment?

But hey...it all works out in the end huh?
 
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blackadder

blackadder

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Contractors. This didn't start with Bush II either (for those who think Haluburton started this craze). It actually started under Bush I and continued with Clinton.

Remember the "peace dividend"? It involved the downsizing of the military. One small problem...the various military missions (especially in the support role) still had to be fulfilled. The "answer" was to contract out every support role possible. The unofficial mantra became "If you can't pack it (as in packing gear on your back), contract it." It looked good on paper with less "boots" to support via the DoD and VA. Less military retirement checks. Less military families and the support needs that come with them.

Fast forward to today....

We're stuck in a protracted conflict that "requires" rebuilding the a nation other than the U.S. So who's left to do this? Not the military. We simply don't have enough troops to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure (buildings, communications, power, water/sewer, roads/bridges, etc.). What we have left are the infamous "no-bid" contracts. Even the military itself has become overly (and dangerously IMO) dependent on contractors to fulfill support roles that 15-20 years ago were taken care of internally.

And all of it costs.

Consider this.

An E-5 over 6 years makes 2,273.70/month (basic pay before tax). That equals 27,284.40/year. Now, if that person is in a field of expertise that is needed to rebuild Iraq...say communications...they can perform the same job as a contractor and get paid $100,000+ (base pay). Their employer is in business to make a profit, so you know they are likely charging the government in excess of $200k/employee. I know I'm using very "open" figures and not including other benefits alloted either the military member or civilian contractor. But even with the simplistic figures I've provided it becomes pretty evident there is a very wide gap here.

One other factor to consider. Many, if not most, of the contracted employees in Iraq were once in the military as well. I know several personally. Their military training wasn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Where was the return on that investment?

But hey...it all works out in the end huh?
That all makes perfect sense.

In addition I'm guessing the weapon and equipment we deploy today are more complex and expensive to operate, repair and replace.

Nation building doesn't pay.
 

varanook

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Contractors. This didn't start with Bush II either (for those who think Haluburton started this craze). It actually started under Bush I and continued with Clinton.

Remember the "peace dividend"? It involved the downsizing of the military. One small problem...the various military missions (especially in the support role) still had to be fulfilled. The "answer" was to contract out every support role possible. The unofficial mantra became "If you can't pack it (as in packing gear on your back), contract it." It looked good on paper with less "boots" to support via the DoD and VA. Less military retirement checks. Less military families and the support needs that come with them.

Fast forward to today....

We're stuck in a protracted conflict that "requires" rebuilding the a nation other than the U.S. So who's left to do this? Not the military. We simply don't have enough troops to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure (buildings, communications, power, water/sewer, roads/bridges, etc.). What we have left are the infamous "no-bid" contracts. Even the military itself has become overly (and dangerously IMO) dependent on contractors to fulfill support roles that 15-20 years ago were taken care of internally.

And all of it costs.

Consider this.

An E-5 over 6 years makes 2,273.70/month (basic pay before tax). That equals 27,284.40/year. Now, if that person is in a field of expertise that is needed to rebuild Iraq...say communications...they can perform the same job as a contractor and get paid $100,000+ (base pay). Their employer is in business to make a profit, so you know they are likely charging the government in excess of $200k/employee. I know I'm using very "open" figures and not including other benefits alloted either the military member or civilian contractor. But even with the simplistic figures I've provided it becomes pretty evident there is a very wide gap here.

One other factor to consider. Many, if not most, of the contracted employees in Iraq were once in the military as well. I know several personally. Their military training wasn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Where was the return on that investment?

But hey...it all works out in the end huh?

After all that, any suggestions? is it honestly cheaper to go military as opposed to civilians?
 

BullDawg

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After all that, any suggestions? is it honestly cheaper to go military as opposed to civilians?
I'm not a economist by any means. However, I do believe (having seen it first hand) that you will generally get more "bang for your buck" with the military rather than a contractor.
 

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