The Iraq war will cost little, and Iraq oil will pay for it. Then.....

Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 06:02 PM

If you can remember that far back, before the invasion of Iraq, Dick Cheney and friends were arrogantly sure that (a) the cost of the war would be minimal, and (b)  Iraq's oil revenue would fund reconstruction efforts; it would virtually be a no-cost war, one that paid for itself.

Then, reality met fantasy and, as usual, reality prevailed.

Sunday, January 19, 2003:
--Q: Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?
--A (Rumsfeld): Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. I think the way to put it into perspective is that the estimates as to what September 11th cost the United States of America ranges high up into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Now, another event in the United States that was like September 11th, and which cost thousands of lives, but one that involved a -- for example, a biological weapon, would be -- have a cost in human life, as well as in billions, hundreds of billions of dollars, that would be vastly greater.

3/27/03 testimony before a Senate Appropriations Hearing
a. Rumsfeld:

I don't believe that the United States has the responsibility for reconstruction, in a sense...[Reconstruction] funds can come from those various sources I mentioned: frozen assets, oil revenues and a variety of other things, including the Oil for Food, which has a very substantial number of billions of dollars in it.

b. Wolfowitz:

We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.

September 3, 2003

Before the war the hope was that Iraq's annual production could relatively quickly rise to $15 billion to $20 billion per year. However, the system is far more decrepit that such estimates assumed, and combined with the near-daily sabotage of facilities and pipelines, it appears that oil revenues will rise only slowly over the next three years, from approximately $10 billion in 2004 to $20 billion in 2006.
Donald Hepburn, former chief executive of the Bahrain Petroleum Company and an advisor to the Middle East Policy Council, stated in his op-ed article "Nice War. Here's the Bill", published in The New York Times

September 14, 2003:
Cheney hints Iraq campaign's cost will grow

October 1, 2003:
Iraq is pumping 900,000 barrels per day--considerably less than the pre-war production level of 2.2 million-2.4 million barrels per day

November 18, 2004:

Iraq War Topping $5.8 Billion A Month

April 27, 2006:
Projected Iraq War Costs Soar--Total Spending Is Likely to More Than Double, Analysis Finds
(cost of the war in Iraq will reach $320 billion after the expected passage next month of an emergency spending bill ... and that total is likely to more than double before the war ends, the Congressional Research Service estimated this week).

Second Transparency Report on Smuggling of Crude Petroleum and Products; 2006:
Document, produced by the inspector general of Iraq's ministry of oil and translated by Revenue Watch, describes corruption in the oil sector, and particularly the multi-billion dollar smuggling of crude petroleum and refined products)

Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq, May 2006 Report to Congress:

--Managing the budget will be a particular challenge this year, as first quarter revenues fell below projections because oil production and export volumes were lower than expected.
--Crude oil production remained steady at an average of 1.9 million barrels per day (mbpd) in the first four months of 2006, while exports increased from an average of 1.2 mbpd early in the first quarter to 1.4 mbpd. Poor weather and a lack of storage facilities in the South, and pipeline maintenance challenges and sabotage in the North hurt production and exports. Achieving oil production export goals continued to be hampered by intimidation of workers and terrorist attacks on infrastructure.

June 16, 2006:

Former Iraqi oil minister Bahr Al Uloum told Gulf News that renovation of Iraqi oilfield infrastructure will cost $10 billion, "$2 billion annually until 2010.