Joseph Stiglitz claims the war in Iraq has seriously
weakened the US economy [EPA]
A new book claims the war in Iraq will cost the United States at least three trillion dollars.
That is enough, the authors argue, to eradicate illiteracy worldwide and solve global poverty. 
Written by Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard professor Linda Bilmes, the book claims the war has seriously weakened the US economy and will have repercussions for many years to come.
The Pentagon disputes the figure. It states that the war cost some $406 billion up to the end of 2007.
Although last year the Congressional Budget Office estimated the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and anti-terrorist efforts abroad could cost a total of $2.4 trillion over the next ten years, with 70 per cent of that relating to Iraq.
What is the true picture? And what are the long-term implications?
Inside Story, with presenter Sami Zeidan, investigates.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube

This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 17:30 GMT

To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page