Iraq's Debt Bomb

Allied troops are still searching for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, but the Iraqi debt bomb may be getting set to explode. Before the war, Bush Administration officials frequently insisted that the reconstruction of Iraq would be paid for by the country's oil revenues. But between debts, money owed on signed contracts and reparations from the first Gulf War, Baghdad owes $200 billion to $300 billion. That means the country is in much tougher shape than international financial basket cases like Argentina. And its oil sales, subject to U.N. approval, amount to only about $15 billion annually.

So getting Iraq back...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!