Yesterday on PBS’ Newshour, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said no administration official made any predictions about the length or cost of the war in Iraq:
I was very careful. I never predicted any number of deaths or the cost or the length because I’ve looked at a lot of wars, and anyone who tries to do that is going to find themselves wrong, flat wrong…I don’t know anybody who had any reasonable expectations about the number or the length of the war or the cost of the war. I just don’t — no one I know went out and said these are how those three metrics ought to be considered. And you can take it to the bank.
The truth is, Rumsfeld and other top administration officials made predictions on all three metrics. You can take that to the bank —
Rumsfeld, 2/7/03: “It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”
Cheney, 3/16/03: “I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months“
Daniels, 12/30/02: “The administration’s top budget [Mitch Daniels] official estimated today that the cost of a war with Iraq could be in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion… Mr. Daniels declined to explain how budget officials had reached the $50 billion to $60 billion range for war costs…” [New York Times, 12/31/02]
Q: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?
Cheney: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. [Meet the Press, 3/16/03]