I'd also forgotten that back in September, when President Bush first rolled out the Korea model of the permanent occupation of Iraq which Sen. McCain (R) has now embraced as his platform, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office did a study
of what a 50 year 'Korea model' presence in Iraq would cost.
The study was done with highly conservative estimates, figuring a much smaller contingent of troops, and basically all the best case scenario numbers, including everything being basically chill over there like McCain says it'll be.
They came up with an additional $2 trillion over 50 years.
Now, an interesting point of comparison is the projected shortfall in the Social Security budget, which is on the contrary tabulated on highly pessimistic assumption. That number over 75 years is projected at $4.7 trillion.
Now I hasten to add, again, that the Iraq numbers are highly optimistic and the Social Security ones highly pessimistic. If we do a simple back of the envelope calculation we get the 75 year cost of Iraq would be $3 trillion.
And remember that the Social Security number is the one that is supposed make the country curl up, collapsed in upon itself and supernova.