If you caught President Obama’s first address to Congress last night, you may have noticed that he pledged to release the full cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this year’s budget. This is something the Bush administration refused to do and something our own Canadian government has not done for the war in Afghanistan. In October of 2008, the Rideau Institute published a report on the full cost of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, The Cost of the War and the End of Peacekeeping. In the following excerpt from last night’s address, Obama makes a strong case for transparency, and we agree:
Finally, because we’re also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead 10 years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.