Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, March 13, 2003

Who'll Pay Money for US-Planned 'Toppling Saddam'?

The 250,000 massive US forces and 50,000 British troops have entered the attacking position, ready to launch attacks on Iraq at any time. According to its tradition, the United States is never willing to undertake payment of the cost of war, instead it will try everything possible to shift the price of war to more other countries, then who will foot the bill this time for US pending war to topple Saddam Hussein?


The 250,000 massive US forces and 50,000 British troops have entered the attacking position, ready to launch attacks on Iraq at any time. According to its tradition, the United States is never willing to undertake payment of the cost of war, instead it will try everything possible to shift the price of war to more other countries, then who will foot the bill this time for US pending war to topple Saddam Hussein?

Military expenditure for "ousting Saddam" estimated at US$1900Bn
A concerned personage with US Congress estimated that if the United States launches military attack on Iraq, seen from the situation regarding prewar preparations, the cost would stay between US$100Bn-US$200Bn. If the war is bogged down in a protracted war, the war will bring greater indirect losses and will cause serious influence on the US economy in many years to come.

In a war budgeted report made by the US Federal Budgetary Bureau last September, the war expenditure was estimated to be US$40 billion; the Pentagon and White House budgetary bureaus put the war budget at around US$50 billion and US$60 billion; at the end of last year, the research report published by the US Art and Science Institute points out that even if military actions, diplomatic efforts and postwar reconstruction work of the Iraq war proceeded without a hitch, then war expenditures would possibly come to around US$99 billion. If the military actions dragged on, expenditures could reach an astronomical figure of US$1900 billion. Then, the losses brought by the "down with Saddam" war on the global economy would reach as high as US$1600 billion.

Fighting one more day would possibly cost an additional US$0.5 billion
The factor determining war expenditure is the duration of war. An official with the Pentagon said that fighting one more day of such high-intensity war would possibly need to spend more funds to the tune of US$0.5 billion. If Saddam used bio-chemical weapons against US troops, then US troops must have such equipment as protective clothing and gas masks, this would put off the process of warfare and increase costs. US officials are worried that Iraq armed forces would set fire on oil wells as they did when the Gulf War was about to end, in that case, expenses on repairing oil wells would be very high. In addition, outlays for sending peace-keeping forces to Iraq after the war is hardly predictable.

Precisely because of this, Bush seems to avoid mentioning things about expenditure on "overthrowing Saddam", he does not launch "fund-raising activities", nor does he stand for "debate" over this among the public. This "evasive" practice by the Bush administration over the question of war budget has subjected US Congress to annoyance.

US made money from previous wars
It is the common view of the international community that the United States made money from the 1991 Gulf War. US officials declared that the total expenditures on the Gulf War amounted to US$61 billion. The US-led multinational forces were composed of 34 countries, the combat troops sent out by countries other than the United States accounted for 24 percent of the total forces, but they paid 88 percent of the gross war expenses. The three countries, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Japan, alone, bore US$48.4 billion of the total sum Actually, the United States spent only US$7 billion in the Gulf War, less than 12 percent of the total war expenditure.

The 1999 Kosovo War was the first of its kind in which high-tech weapons were used in the human history, and the United States and NATO dispatched at least 700 war planes and 20 warships.

The British "Financial Times" quoted a finance analyst as saying that the 78-day air-raid actions cost an estimated sum of over US$7 billion, averaging US$0.1 billion a day. The newspaper added that the United States, Britain and France bore the greater part of military expenditures. Of course, the United States contributed the bulk, over three-quarters of the total.

The anti-terrorist war the United States launched in Afghanistan ended after two months. This was a costly war, the United States spent over US$10 billion for military expenses alone. The Defense Department did not release the official war expenditure, but it told the Congress that US$3.8 billion was paid for the war in the first three months alone. At present, 8,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, continuing the search and arrest of terrorists and assisting the Hamid Kazai government which needs an outlay of hundreds of millions of US dollars a month. Countries that dispatched troops to Afghanistan also included Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, Canada, Australia and Jordan. Before the start of the war, the United States did not promise to provide military expenditure to these countries which could not but pay it for themselves, just like the "AA system" for eating in restaurant, i.e., the diners have an equal share of payment for the dinner.

Japan, Saudi clearly say they will contribute not even a cent
The situation this time is entirely different from what it was before. Except Britain, Spain, and a small number of Central and East European countries which support US-planned war on Iraq this time, no major countries in the world have expressed support for the war, not to say dispatching troops to participate in the war and undertake to bear war expenses. Saudi and Japan, which bore the lion's share of the expenses during the previous Gulf War, have expressed their clear-cut stand of not undertaking to bear any war expenses.

Japan's Asahi Shimbun report disclosed that if the United States launches war on Iraq, the Japanese government had decided not to share any war expenses as it did in the 1991 Gulf War. During that war, Japan alone shared the expense of US$13 billion. This time, owing to Japan's worsening financial situation and the pressure of public opinion, the Japanese government has decided that it will cease sharing war expense. Japan has reportedly notified US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard L. Armitage, of its decision mentioned above.

Take Saudi Arabia for another example. During the 1991 Gulf War, around 55,000 US troops were stationed in Saudi, which were provided with accommodation, fuel and food free of charge, Saudi had spent a total of US$16.8 billion for the war. This time although the Saudi government has not clearly expressed its opposition to America's planned use of force against Iraq, it refuses to contribute even one cent on the excuse that one hundred percent of the Saudi people oppose attack on Iraq. Former US Ambassador Frieman to Saudi lashed out at the US government for its underestimation of financial difficulties in its effort to "topple Saddam", saying that US war budget counted out the expenditures of many items, for instance, the expenditures on the placement of refugees, fuel supply, troop transportation and cleaning-up of the postwar environment. These problems originally solved with the money contributed by the Saudi government have now to be resolved by the United States itself.

France, Germany and Russia, which have all along expressed clear-cut objection to US use of force against Iraq and have formed an "anti-war axis", a headache to the United States, will, of course, not fish out a single cent from their pockets for the war. Britain, which firmly supports the United States, will not contribute much money for the war either. This is because, on the one hand, there exists strong anti-war public opinion at home, on the other hand, the British Parliament will not pass a resolution on allocation of too many expenses for the war. Analysts say this time Britain can provide at most 10-15 billion pounds of war expenses, the remainder has to be digested by the United States itself.

Contrarily, many countries have raised the demand for US compensation or economic aid because of the pending war. Turkish Parliament has vetoed for the first time the proposal on allowing the deployment of US troops, however, the Turkish Parliament will carry out the second voting next week. The United States, on its part, will extend economic aid to the tune of US$30 billion as a price for the opening up of this "north battle line", this includes US$6 billion free economic aid. In addition, it is reported that Egypt, Qatar and some other countries will also demand that the United States provide them with economic aid because of the war.

Selling new weapons through actual war, arms dealers will make a big fortune therefrom
Among the major overseas wars waged or participated in by the United States, except the Korean War and the Vietnam War that great hurt US vigor, whether World War I, World War II, or the Gulf War and the Kosovo War, all enhanced US strengths. Because of this, many analysts hold that the United States will not suffer losses from the war this time.

There are two most profitable businesses in the world: first, transactions of drugs; second, the buying and selling of munitions. According to expert estimation, over 50 percent profits can be drawn from F-16 fighter sold at a cost of US$50 million. In recent years, the display of new-type weapons' performances through actual war has increasingly become a new method for promotion sales of new-type weapons. The 1991 Gulf War was a platform for displaying advanced weapons. US main battle tanks, airplanes, precision guided weapons, etc. which displayed their martial prowess in the war became the objects of pursuit by various countries after the war. In the possible second Gulf War, the United States will use the up-to-date arms adaptable to the era of informationization. Take the newest main tank MlA2 for example, the proportion of its digitized electronic equipment has reached 90 percent. These hi-tech new weapons often are unattainable by other countries in terms of their scientific research level, they have to buy from the United States if they want to take possession of these arms. So, once the war is ended, a large batch of orders for the weapons will be attracted, then what the United States needs is to prepare for collecting money, American arms dealers will again earn a big fortune.

The US can ark the world's oil consumers to pay war expenses while fighting battles
Many analysts are of the view that war will lead to a surge of global oil price, for this the United States will have to pay an extra price. It was the overly high oil price that led to US economic depression during the old Bush era, and finally caused him to lose the chance for being re-elected president. However, many insiders familiar with US oil strategic reserve plan think otherwise. An oil market analyst with Deutsche Bank, London Branch, states clearly: The United States is coordinating actions with Britain and Japan over the question of oil reserves, once war on Iraq is started, the United States can put 4.2 million barrels of crude oil on the world oil market per day with its current nearly 600 million barrels of aggregate strategic reserves, this not only can make up the shortage of Middle East oil caused by the war, but also can make a big fortune.

As a matter of fact, although Saudi and Kuwait lost US$60 billion and US$40 billion respectively during the first Gulf War, they made up for the loss from oil export profits earned due to the fact that the crude oil price per barrel after the Gulf War was higher than prewar price by over 20 US dollars, which continued for one year. Given this, the US government now under George W. Bush leadership is entirely possible to ask the world's oil consumers to pay the war expenses for the United States wile fighting battles. That is to say, it is entirely possible for the United States to achieve the aim of letting arms and oil pay for the war. Considering that the United States can obtain huge strategic and oil benefits from Iraq, it can almost be said with certainty that the United States will absolutely not suffer a deficit in the "transaction" this time.

By People's Daily Online

Questions?Comments? Click here

American People-Populace Haunted by Worries of War

International Diplomatic Strife over Iraq Issue: Signed Article

>> Full Coverage


China's Social Security System Takes Shape ( 2 Messages)

American People-Populace Haunted by Worries of War ( 10 Messages)

International Diplomatic Strife over Iraq Issue: Signed Article ( 33 Messages)

American Empire Steps Up Fourth Expansion: News Analysis ( 34 Messages)

New Type of Nuclear Reactor Put into Use in Beijing ( 39 Messages)

Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved