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USA TODAY, October 24, 2007

Iraq and Afghanistan wars may total USD2.4 trillion

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total 2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly 8,000 Dollar per man, woman and child in the country

By Ken Dilanian,

WASHINGTON — The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total $2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate scheduled for release today.

Childern killed in the US bombs
An Afghan man lifts the head of a child who along with 11 other civilians died during US air raids in Kabul on October 28, 2001

Photo Gallery of US victims in Afghanistan
The Afghan Victim Memorial Project by Prof. Marc

A previous CBO estimate put the wars' costs at more than $1.6 trillion. This one adds $705 billion in interest, taking into account that the conflicts are being funded with borrowed money.

The new estimate also includes President Bush's request Monday for another $46 billion in war funding, said Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., budget committee chairman, who provided the CBO's new numbers to USA TODAY.

Assuming that Iraq accounts for about 80% of that total, the Iraq war would cost $1.9 trillion, including $564 million in interest, said Thomas Kahn, Spratt's staff director. The committee holds a hearing on war costs this morning.

"The number is so big, it boggles the mind," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.

Sean Kevelighan, a spokesman for the White House budget office, said, "Congress should stop playing politics with our troops by trying to artificially inflate war funding levels." He declined to provide a White House estimate.

The CBO estimates assume that 75,000 troops will remain in both countries through 2017, including roughly 50,000 in Iraq. That is a "very speculative" projection, though it's not entirely unreasonable, said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst at the non-partisan Lexington Institute.

President George Bush will have spent more than $1 trillion on military adventures by the time he leaves office at the end of next year, more than the entire amount spent on the Korean and Vietnam wars combined.
The Independent , October 24, 2006

As of Sept. 30, the two wars have cost $604 billion, the CBO says. Adjusted for inflation, that is higher than the costs of the Korea and Vietnam conflicts, according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Defense spending during those two wars accounted for a far larger share of the American economy.

In the months before the March 2003 Iraq invasion, the Bush administration estimated the Iraq war would cost no more than $50 billion.

Category: US-NATO - Views: 11693


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