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The Real Price of War: How You Pay for the War on Terror

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Joshua S. Goldstein, «The Real Price of War: How You Pay for the War on Terror»
New York University Press | ISBN 0814731619 | 2004-08-01 | PDF | 1,06 Mb | 239 pages




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From Publishers Weekly:

A scholar at Brown University offers this compact and cogent study of the costs of the war on terror and how to meet them more effectively. At the present time, the costs of the war, as stated by the administration, are being met through regressive taxes, budget cuts at all levels, inflation and deficit spending. The historical narrative of how these methods have worked (or not worked) in the past is integrated with this section of the book at a level suitable for the lay reader. The author emphasizes that a mood of national commitment and self-sacrifice was there to be drawn on in WWII and immediately after 9/11. But the Bush administration's desire to have both a tax cut and the war on terror has led to failure to rally the nation and underfunding areas like veterans' programs and foreign aid, giving a strong impression abroad of a lack of national will. Goldstein suggests that rescinding the last tax cuts is a good starting point for a national and even international rallying, one that will keep the war on terror from dragging on as long as the Thirty Years' War. In attempting to face facts as he sees them, Goldstein makes a fine example of a nonideologue at work.



Book Description:

Are Americans in denial about the costs of the War on Terror? In The Real Price of War, Joshua S. Goldstein argues that we need to face up to what the war costs the average American–both in taxes and in changes to our way of life. Goldstein contends that in order to protect the United States from future attacks, we must fight–and win–the War on Terror. Yet even as President Bush campaigns on promises of national security, his administration is cutting taxes and increasing deficit spending, resulting in too little money to eradicate terrorism and a crippling burden of national debt for future generations to pay.

The Real Price of War breaks down billion-dollar government expenditures into the prices individual Americans are paying through their taxes. Goldstein estimates that the average American household currently pays $500 each month to finance war. Beyond the dollars and cents that finance military operations and increased security within the U.S., the War on Terror also costs America in less tangible ways, including lost lives, reduced revenue from international travelers, and budget pressures on local governments. The longer the war continues, the greater these costs. In order to win the war faster, Goldstein argues for an increase in war funding, at a cost of about $100 per household per month, to better fund military spending, homeland security, and foreign aid and diplomacy.

Americans have been told that the War on Terror is a war without sacrifice. But as Goldstein emphatically states: "These truths should be self-evident: The nation is at war. The war is expensive. Someone has to pay for it."


About the Author:

Joshua S. Goldstein, is an associate of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University and a leading expert on war. His books include International Relations and War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa. He lives in Amherst, MA.