Iraq War & Wars

Iraq war costs $440 Billion

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IRAQ WAR CAUSED BY OIL--proof, Palast
Iraq war costs $440 Billion
No Chance of Victory U.S. General Admits
U.S. DESTABILIZED REGION--Must Stay Now
Iraq war and imperialism
reconstruction? who stold the funds?
Iraq history from WWI to present
OIL-WAR PLANS BEFORE 911--document
War, Another From of Corporate Welfare
Iraq, Sunni, Shiite Struggle
General Odom on Iraq War and Isreal
Iraq War Stimulates Our Economy
U.S. Policy of Delay brought on the insurgency--Palast
Military Budget should be cut

From Boston Globe, internet site Feb 2006 at http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/02/03/120b_more_is_sought_for_war_efforts/

 

Cost of Iraq war $440 Billion

 

$120b more is sought for war efforts

 

 

Request would put total at $440b

WASHINGTON -- The White House will ask Congress for an additional $70 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the remainder of the fiscal year -- nearly double some government estimates of what would be needed just a few months ago -- and will also seek $50 billion more as a down payment for those wars in 2007, administration officials said yesterday.

 

If approved by Congress, the request would bring the fighting costs for fiscal 2006, which ends Sept. 30, to about $120 billion, $35 billion more than the $85 billion that the Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that the Pentagon would need for this fiscal year. The new request would also bring total war spending since the 2001 terrorist attacks to $440 billion.  The new war request was announced a day after the House of Representatives cut nearly $40 billion from the budget, mostly from social programs, to help fend off rising deficits.  The additional funding, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, includes an estimated $4.5 billion a month, up slightly from last year, to continue fighting the counterinsurgency in Iraq, and around $800 million a month in Afghanistan.  The funds will cover basic needs such as fuel, ammunition, spare parts, and soldier bonuses; help pay for the training of Iraqi and Afghan security forces; and be used to replace equipment that is being worn out in Iraq, the White House said.

 

The United States currently has about 150,000 troops in Iraq and about 19,000 in Afghanistan.

Joel Kaplan, deputy director of OMB, told reporters in a conference call that some of the increase could be attributed to expenses that were not taken into account in earlier estimates. ''The closer you get to the time at which you actually need to request money, the more reliable your estimate is likely to be," he said.

For example, the figure is higher than some anticipated partly because of the growing need to replace damaged equipment and replace weapons that have been heavily used in Iraq, Kaplan said.

''The longer we're there, the more we see additional wear and tear," Kaplan said. ''That's what you'd expect, particularly on some of the Army and Marine Corps equipment that dates from the late 1980s. You see it . . . coming to the end of its life cycle, expected life cycle, sooner than it otherwise would have, as a result of being employed in combat."

 

Other increases are the result of the new technologies and other tools to help thwart the roadside bombs that remain the biggest killer of American troops in Iraq.  Kaplan did not provide a specific breakdown of the funding, saying that the final package is still being completed. It will be forwarded to Congress in about a week, he said, confirming only that $5 billion will be set aside to help pay for part of a longstanding plan to reequip certain Army units, some of which have been slated for duty in the Middle East.  But the overall figures -- the separate requests for $70 billion for the rest of 2006 and $50 billion for 2007 -- will also be calculated in the White House's deficit projections when it separately releases its 2007 federal budget request on Monday, Kaplan said. The Congressional Budget Office said yesterday that it estimates the 2006 deficit will be at least $337 and may reach $400 billion or higher, depending partly on the cost of the Iraq War.

 

The new request comes on top of $50 billion the Congress gave the Bush administration in the annual defense budget passed in December to cover the first few months of the fiscal year. If approved, the total budget of $120 billion makes this year the costliest so far in terms of military operations since 2001.

Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan continues to be funded separately, out of an $18.4 billion fund approved in 2004. Much of the money has not been spent due to the unstable security situation.

Meanwhile, the military costs, both direct and indirect, continue to climb. President Bush ''pledged that he will commit the resources that are necessary to fight and win the war on terrorism," Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense, said in the telephone briefing yesterday. ''A critical part of that is ensuring our troops in the field have all the resources they need."

 

As for the additional $50 billion to continue funding the wars in 2007, Kaplan said, ''It's a bridge fund, and when we get closer and we see how events over the next year have transpired in a very fluid situation -- fluid politically and on a security basis -- we'll be in a much better position to identify the costs."

 

Bender can be reached at bender@globe.com.

Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

 

 

 

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