March 11, 2008

3 Billion Pounds? That's It?

Abu Muqawama had to chuckle when he read this hand-wringing report in the Guardian about how costs of the UK's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan have doubled to 3 Billion GBP over the past year. On Sunday, an editorial in the Washington Post claimed the Iraq War alone would eventually cost the U.S. tax-payer $3 trillion. (Hitchens says it's all worth it, by the way. Hitchens -- who ain't exactly working for an hourly wage down at Denny's -- refuses to think, though, about what services the government could have provided in lieu of the Iraq misadventure and then self-righteously chastises those who do.)

The irony of the report in the Guardian is that if it's true and the Brits really have spent 10 billion GBP on Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, they will not have been spending nearly enough. The average British soldier is not afforded the kind of training and equipment given to the average U.S. Army infantryman, and if Abu Muqawama were a British soldier, he would be mad as hell about that. As of 2003, the average light infantry squad in the U.S. Army was better-equipped than the UK's premier special operations unit. Why there isn't a bigger outcry in the UK over the way soldiers are trained and equipped to go to war is beyond the comprehension of this blogger.