Note: This is an anniversary republish of our original analysis from March 19, 2003 eleven years ago.
I find it astonishing that there are still some fools claiming the invasion had anything to do with WMD. We stated on the eve of the invasion that the data was clear and convincing that Saddam Hussein did not have the skills, personnel or ability to develop a modern WMD program.
I got some things right, some things wrong (notably, a peak in bonds!), but overall, the assessment was pretty dead on.
This is my favorite paragraph:
“These same surprising findings lead to the conclusion that we are at the beginning of a large scale, continuing US military operation. We expect the subsequent occupation of Iraq to last several years, and may continue for as long as a decade. The cost for this effort starts at ~$200 billion dollars, and may scale up to one trillion dollars by 2011.”
Full downloadable report below.
Not-So-Hidden Agenda: Strategic and Economic Assessments of U.S. led Invasion in the Middle East
Pre War Analysis, March 19, 2003
I’ve gotten a lot of requests — and some terrific feedback — since Dave Farber mentioned it on his Interesting People list.
For those of you who want to have a better understanding of the more likely reasons we invaded Iraq, pull up a chair and a cup of coffee and have at it:
An abstract is below. Perhaps at some future date we’ll tackle what the potential pitfalls might be of our 10 year, $1 trillion dollar stay in Iraq.
Feel free to post any comments or intelligent criticisms here; If you are shy you can email them (privately).
A strategic assessment of the imminent War and its economic impact, based on “open source” materials. Several unexpected conclusions are reached: First, the explanations offered by the nation’s leadership for military action is inadequate to explain the US commitment to any invasion. Second, by “reverse engineering” the strategic decision making process, we learn there may indeed be compelling reasons for invading and occupying Iraq.
These findings lead to the conclusion that any U.S. military presence in the Middle East is likely to be a large scale, continuing operation. The subsequent occupation of Iraq may last several years, and continue for a decade. The cost for this effort could scale up to one trillion dollars by 2011.
Lastly, we attempt to assess the impact the War will have on the equity and fixed income markets; We also apply those findings to specific market sectors and industries. Finally, we suggest how asset managers may wish to position their portfolios in the months and years ahead.
NOTE: This research piece was originally published via Maxim Group on March 19, 2003. This was prior to my moving my Blog over to Typepad from Geocities sometime in July 2003. It was uploaded here at this chronological posting date for archive reasons on 10/04/04. . .