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THE COST OF WAR
May 11, 2007

How do you make tangible the true costs of the Iraq war?

It's a question that can be addressed in many ways. The National Priorities Project keeps a constantly running count of war costs — and compares the totals with what the dollars would buy in other government services. Fiscal conservatives keep an eye on the Department of Treasury's national debt to the penny.

Of course there are costs that cannot be quantified in dollars. Photographer Nina Berman wanted to better understand soldiers and their war by meeting face to face with those who had fought it. With no official list of the wounded to go by, she tracked down newspaper articles on returning vets. She put her photographs of twenty veterans and their stories in her book PURPLE HEARTS. She has added to her series on returned vets — view a slideshow of Berman's work.

References and Reading:
Arlington West
Every Sunday from sunrise to sunset since February 15th, 2004, a temporary memorial is erected in the sand just north of the pier at Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles, California by the local chapter of Veterans for Peace (VFP) and other volunteers. This memorial is known as Arlington West. See also Arlington West Film — a 75 minute film presenting a "temporary cemetery" in the sand, erected every Sunday by the Veterans For Peace in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Oceanside and other locations.

Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was created in 1974. CBO's mission is to provide Congress with objective, timely, nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process. Recent publications by the CBO include: "Some Implications of Increasing U.S. Forces in Iraq," April 2007 and "The Long-Term Implications of Current Defense Plans: Detailed Update for Fiscal Year 2007," April 2007.

Department of Defense
The official site of the Department of Defense provides a wealth of information on defense agencies and programs. The site offers a daily defense press briefing.

National Priorities Project
The National Priorities Project is a not-for-profit advocacy group which focuses on the impacts of federal tax and spending policies at the community level. The group's Web site has several interactive features that propose alternatives to federal defense spending.

Related Media:
AIR: American Investigative Reports, "Shooting the War."
"AIR profiles two photographers and their unvarnished images of the war in Iraq and its tragic consequences on the home front. The work of Kael Alford, who photographed the victims of war in Iraq, and Paul Fusco, who is photographing the consequences of war at home, is investigative journalism in pictures."

Published May 11, 2007

Also This Week:

KEEPING THE FAITH
Pat Robertson's Regent University, which is working to ensure that Biblical principles are reflected in the law of the land.

NICK GILLESPIE
Nick Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief of the libertarian monthly REASON magazine.

MARILYN B. YOUNG
Historian Marilyn B. Young, co-editor of IRAQ AND THE LESSONS OF VIETNAM: OR, HOW NOT TO LEARN FROM THE PAST

THE COST OF WAR
How do you make tangible the true costs of the Iraq war?

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