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How much does a war cost, anyway?


 

Find out on Thursday, when the Parliamentary Budget Officer makes his debut with a detailed cost accounting of Canada’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan. The official announcement of this long-awaited event went out today.

This will be interesting. The preceding sentence is an understatement.


 

How much does a war cost, anyway?

  1. The report will be bad news for the government of the day. For the liberals this will be unfortunate as they will be “Canada’s new Government”

  2. The lives lost in service of Canada will dwarf the $$, in terms of cost. I trust the political posturing about to erupt over budgets will respect that concept and honour the sacrifice of these brave men and women and their families, a sacrifice that renders the contribution from us bickering taxpayers insignificant.

  3. This entire week is just a torrent of good (bad?) timing. I’m amazed at how things are going, actually. Jobs numbers come out on Thursday too, hm? And perhaps GDP growth, but I’m not as sure about that. Stéphane Dion appears on The National Your Turn tomorrow, Harper looked pretty weak on tonight’s round of interviews (well, CBC and CTV, at least – I think I might check out Téléjournal next). Quebec is going directions no one predicted a couple of weeks ago, and the Liberals have capitalized pretty well — have you seen the recent series of French ads they’ve been running? They’re quite good, no Harpernomics – focusing on area candidates.

    Time to strap in, I think.

  4. (He did pretty well on TJ, actually. I think I like all the leaders in French more than English. My bias, or does language change delivery? There’s a thesis or two in here somewhere…)

  5. What was the estimate put out by the Conservatives for Afghanistan? 8 billion?

    Mike G, I tend to agree about watching them in French. Layton might be the exception.

  6. I read somewhere a figure of $30 billion (was that you Mr. Wells?)…
    One principal beneficiary will be Elizabeth May…I’m sure she’ll have a field day with MacKay on this…

  7. “madeyoulook

    The lives lost in service of Canada will dwarf the $$, in terms of cost. I trust the political posturing about to erupt over budgets will respect that concept and honour the sacrifice of these brave men and women and their families, a sacrifice that renders the contribution from us bickering taxpayers insignificant.”

    Ok, well, actually, a life lost in service to the country CAN be quantified in dollar amounts. Basically the army supports the widow for the rest of her life and gives her kids free university educations, as they should, because it’s part of the covenant between the state and the men who risk their lives for it. Similarly, disabilities suffered by our soldiers also have a dollar amount attached to them.

    And ultimately, too many deaths in the line of duty come with a political cost to Canada, in a diminished will to exert our power overseas and protect our interests. Which also comes with the opportunity cost of those interests.

    Honouring soldiers has nothing to do with deciding that a war is no longer worth fighting. It means that you still respect the sacrifice soldiers made, even if that war was later judged to be unjust.

  8. MadeYouLook

    Hospitals save lives so if we talk about how much they cost that’s just posturing right?

  9. a sacrifice that renders the contribution from us bickering taxpayers insignificant.

    Nothing should diminish the sacrifice these men and women make, but we are paying for this war and that is not insignificant. It’s a bit of a false dichotomy too. Every dollar misspent (and I’m not saying any of it is misspent) is a dollar that could have been used to improve the safety of those troops.

  10. If you question our motives, actions, spending, strategy or decisions, the terrorists win.

  11. I’m a Harper fan but I have to agree with Mike G that he did not perform all that well on either CTV or CBC. My only hope is that voters will now be forced to look seriously at the idea of Dion as PM and will recoil at the thought.

    Personally I think the not a leader and he’s not worth the risk ads were the wrong strategy and have backfired big time. The CPC should have focused on the Green Shift as a policy rather than Dion as a person.

  12. The Tories were the ones who were supposed to have the reputation for mean-spirited and harsh attack ads, yet it is the Liberals who appear to have won this game with their vicious ads linking Harper to Bush.

    One thing Harper is not is a clone of George Bush. Indeed, if anything, he is far to the left of most Democrats in the U.S. on most issues.

    Yet the Liberals have been extremely effective in linking Harper to the unpopular Bush. This is completely unfair, but this is politics and politics is a blood sport so the Tories can’t complain. They should, however, have figured out a way to counter this vicious advertising. After all, no one could say they didn’t see it coming.

  13. “I, for one, welcome the rule of our new Liberal overlords.”

    — Kent Brockman

    Brockman: “Professor Expert, in the light of all of these events, would you say the time has come for us to bash open each other’s heads and feast on the goo inside?”

    Expert: “Yes Ken, yes I would.”

  14. I was not attempting to diminish the importance of deliberating responsibly and of making the best decisions in the interests of this country, folks. I was anticipating the juvenile bickering and lame joking about to take place (see Kady’s “This sounds like a job for the Party of Accountability!” post and comments for what I mean) over the report’s release.

    Anyone old enough to remember that when our country went to war, everything about life in our country changed? War bonds, rations, support-the-troop drives, turning in scrap metal to make ammunition, etc. Everybody chipped in to achieve total victory as swiftly as possible, because war was hell, and should only be engaged in when the alternative to victory would be far worse.

    Time was people took war seriously. This country has spent more effort, it seems, posturing for partisan political gain instead of complete military victory, and it is a shameful reflection of our respect for the men and women sent over there, and of the families worrying and mourning.

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