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What price glory?

Financial markets seem to be assuming a short, sharp US assault on Iraq with finite post-war costs. But there's well-documented evidence that Iraq is only the first step in a strategy of total war that could undermine both the US and global economy.

Wolfowitz, Cheney, a US tank in Kuwait, Bush Jr and Rumsfeld: The military might to build the new American century will prove costly

THERE WAS NO doubt in the investment banker's voice as he gave his take on his most recent visit to Washington DC. "We're going to war. This administration wants to take us to war."

It wasn't last month, it wasn't even in the week after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC. It was spring 2001 while the US was dealing with the Chinese government over an incident involving a US surveillance aircraft and a couple of Chinese fighters.

Euromoney scoffed at the idea. Okay, the administration has its hawks, but war? Surely that's just bluster? Patiently the banker replied that he'd been at an event hosted by Empower America, a right-wing Republican think-tank set up by Jack Kemp, formerly a senior Republican member of the House of Representatives. US vice-president Dick Cheney was the keynote speaker. "He adopted that avuncular manner of his, with one arm leaning on the podium, and basically stated that the administration was going to war."

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