Thursday, September 11, 2008

Put a tank staffed by Petraeus duplicates on every square mile of Afghanistan

For the price of the Iraq War, we could've hunted down Osama Bin Laden by placing a fully equipped M1 Abrams battle tank on every square mile of Afghanistan and staffing them entirely with duplicates of General Petraeus.

The heavily armored 67-ton M1 Abrams battle tank, which carries four crew members, is the principal combat tank of the American armed forces. A fully equipped M1 Abrams costs $4.30 million. General David Petraeus, who oversaw all US forces in Iraq, earns $180,000 per year. The area of Afghanistan is 251,772 square miles Putting an M1 Abrams on each square mile of Afghanistan and staffing them entirely with Petraeus duplicates drawing a salary equal to his would cost $1.26 trillion, which is less than half of Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.


Aaron said...

So the extra $1.78 trillion is for the cloning?

I think it'd help if in some of these you emphasized that it's less than half the cost of the war.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Hey, that's a good idea -- just did it. I think this is the first 'less than half' ad I've run.

Aaron said...

There's also the helium one (where you talked about buying more helium (though no balloons)).

And if we take it literally, the A-10 Thunderbolt one is less than a thousandth of the cost.

Plus another few at or below 2 trillion. But what's another trillion here or there?