Understanding the Cost of the War Against Iraq and How that Realization can Affect International Law
David Allen Larson
Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 13, No. 2, p. 387, Fall 2005
This article presents a sampling of the ways in which $236.5 billion could have been spent if that money was not dedicated to the war in Iraq. The identification of specific alternatives may provoke further discussion as to how the United States has been spending, and how it should spend, its tax dollars. Thus the first goal of the article is to initiate an informed discussion about domestic policy and spending.
Additionally, recognition of what the United States could have accomplished with $236.5 billion dollars may prompt non-governmental organizations, political parties, independent media, courts and citizens to question the United States government's reasons for the invasion of Iraq. If those groups find the justifications wanting, then their reactions to the cost of the war may give them sufficient motivation to act and hold their government accountable to international law. In other words, if one accepts an integrated theory of international law (which is explained in the article), and if one concludes that the invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law, then the collateral consequences for the United States government may force the United States to reconsider its unwillingness to obey international law.
The article is topical and it addresses issues that should concern all Americans. The second goal of the article, which is to inspire the types of collateral consequences that may strengthen international law, relies upon an integrated theory of international law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Iraq,cost,war,international law,united nations,health,retirement,education,budget,foreign policy,WMD,hunger,poverty,domestic policy
JEL Classification: A13,D70,D74,H50,H51,H52,H53,H54,H56,K33,N40,N45
Date posted: November 20, 2006