REPORT: Iraq War To Cost $550 Billion By October

crs_07192007_update1.jpgAccording to a new Congressional Research Service report, the war in Iraq has cost $450 billion to date. Further, if Congress approves the Bush administration’s latest supplemental funding request, the total cost of the war will exceed $550 billion by October 1 of this year — fully ten times greater than the Bush administration naively predicted in February 2003.

The report also details the costs of the war in Afghanistan — $127 billion — and other Department of Defense War on Terror expenditures — $28 billion. The CRS also notes approximately $5 billion dollars that cannot be “allocated.” In total, the “Global War on Terror” has cost $610 billion.

Other notable findings of the report:

Costs Rose Sharply In 2007: “[W]ar appropriations rose steeply in FY2007. DOD received $165.8 billion for war costs in FY2007 — about 40% more than the previous year. … VA medical costs for [Iraq/Afghanistan] veterans will be about $1 billion, according to CRS estimates” in 2007.

$12 Billion Per Month: “For the first half of FY2007, CRS estimates that [Defense Department’s] average monthly obligations for contracts and pay are running about $12 billion per month, well above the estimated $8.7 billion in FY2006.”

Rising Cost of Troop Deployments: “Since FY2003, the estimated average cost per deployed troop has risen from about $320,000 to $390,000 per deployed troop” and of the “1.5 million individuals who have deployed for Iraq of OEF, about 30% have had more than one deployment.”

Redeployment Could Cut Costs In Half: “[T]he Congressional Budget Office estimated that war costs for the next 10 years might total about $472 billion if troop levels fell to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fell to 75,000 by about 2013. Under such assumptions and adjusting for the FY2007 Supplemental, total funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and the GWOT could reach from about $1 trillion to $1.45 trillion by 2017.”

The CRS report also highlights the administration’s continuing reliance on “emergency supplemental funding requests” to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, noting that “much of the funding would not seem to meet the traditional definition of emergency — as an urgent and ‘unforeseen, unpredictable, and unanticipated’ need.”

You can read the entire report HERE.

Ryan Powers

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