The Big Bill

The world's encirclement of Saddam Hussein is intended to throttle his economy and force his army out of Kuwait, but the price is heavy for the alliance arrayed against him. Mustering its defensive force in Saudi Arabia in August and September cost the U.S. $2.5 billion. The Pentagon's estimate for the continuing buildup to an offensive force had been $15 billion in fiscal 1991; the escalation announced last week will clearly boost that bill. If a shooting war begins, some Washington analysts speculate costs could rise to $1 billion a day.

"We are more than willing to bear our fair share...

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