The willingness of Americans to support the war in Iraq is tracking the mounting casualties and the hemorrhaging cash flow into Bush’s War. When American casualties rise, support wanes; when Congress votes another $80 billion appropriation, the taxpayers grumble. However, voters have displayed remarkable tolerance for dead soldiers and war deficits in the past, and I expect they will be no different with Bush’s War. But they do have a tipping point, beyond which they will no longer tolerate this war, no matter how noble the goals.
Syndicated columnist Richard Reeves predicts we won’t reach that point for another six years, citing the examples of nine years in Vietnam for the US, and nine years in Afghanistan for the Soviets. Nine years appears to be the point at which the patience and fortitude of the population wears thin, and then the pressure on political leadership become too great to resist.
Personally, I think we should get out now, but using Reeves theory, Bush and his successor (if he/she is so inclined) should be able to resist the anti-war sentiment until mid-2011, after an estimated* 6351 US soldiers have died, at a cost of $590 billion.
Whether the math of my projections is correct or not is really not the issue; the point is, there is a number out there, maybe higher than mine, maybe lower, but there is a number that represents the end of the patience of the American public for this perpetual war.
How much blood & treasure will the American voter tolerate before demanding an immediate withdrawal from Iraq?
There is only one ground rule for this discussion:
“Whatever it takes” is not a number; if this is your belief, I can only conclude that Vietnam-style slaughter (55,000+ body bags) and $1.06 trillion inflation adjusted dollars is acceptable to you., and you truly have no sense of the value of human life or the destruction of war.
*Based on a monthly average of 64 US soldiers killed per month + 1743 killed to date, and $5 billion per month burn rate + $230 billion already spent, projected over the next six years. .