There is a lot of controversy surrounding the supposed benefits of the of the US/ Iraq war, with many bemoaning the economic impact of its astronomical cost. According to the Congressional Research Service, the Iraqi war has cost Americans over $500 billion dollars. In 2007, the US budget for the war came to $4,988/Iraqi, the equivalent of spending $121,000 per person in the US! And recently, Joseph Stiglitz a former Nobel Prize winning economist and economic advisor to President Bill Clinton, published a book claiming that the war in Iraq is a central cause in the America’s economic slowdown.
As the US death toll hovers around 4,000, it may be hard to imagine how anyone could really be “benefiting” from this war. But the nature of the world is that in every conflict, someone somewhere is benefiting So who are the top gainers?
- Members of congress. Guess which top lawmakers have personally invested funds in companies that are raking in billions of dollars in defense contracts. It is currently estimated that over 150 members of Congress invested close to a quarter-billion dollars in companies that received defense contracts of at least $5 million in FY 2006.
- CEO’s of Top Defense Contractors. According to the Institute for Policy Studies‘ Executive Excess 2007 report, the CEOs of some of the biggest defense contractors have been cashing in on the US/Iraq war since 9/11, even despite blatant failures in performance.
- Corporate America. An extensive conglomerate of security companies, oil producers, and businesses involved in various facets of reconstruction and infrastructure are all benefiting from the Iraqi war despite the rising costs of doing business there.
With so many people, in such key positions benefiting from the Iraqi war it is no wonder why it has yet to end.