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War with Iraq: Costs and Consequences

Official End of War Brings Re-examination of Costs


Press Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In December 2002, three months before the U.S. invasion, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences published a report speculating on the political, military, and economic consequences of a possible war with Iraq.

The pre-war study estimated the costs of war with Iraq in scenarios that were both favorable and unfavorable to the United States, projecting that an extended conflict could cost nearly 10 times the estimate offered by the Bush administration at the time. In the end, even the 2002 estimates contained in the Academy report proved low.

The report’s authors also considered a number of potentially disastrous military and strategic outcomes of war for the United States that had received scant public attention in the lead-up to the conflict, and examined the broader national security strategy behind the move toward a preventive war against Iraq.

The Academy report, War with Iraq: Costs, Consequences, and Alternatives, is available online at


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