FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

How Much is the War in Iraq Costing?

The Congressional Research Service has just released a new report on the past and possible future costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pending Congress’ action on the new emergency supplemental, which should complete fiscal year 2006 expenses, the costs will be up to $439 billion by the end of this year. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; details follow. The full report is available at www.cdi.org/smrp.

If Congress approves the $71 billion emergency supplemental to pay for the ongoing cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the new total for the war expenses will be $439 billion, according to a new report released on April 24 by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). For the war in Iraq, $320 billion will have been spent; $89 billion for Afghanistan, and $26 billion will have gone toward enhanced security, including combat air patrols, in and over the United Sates.

The Department of Defense (DOD) estimates its “burn rate” of monthly expenses at $6.4 billion in Iraq and $1.3 billion in Afghanistan. CRS points out that DOD did not include the cost of replacing worn out equipment and upgrades to facilities in theater. Adding those and a few other costs calculates to a monthly “burn rate” of $8.1 billion in Iraq; $1.6 billion in Afghanistan, and a total burn rate of $9.9 billion per month.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has made projections for possible future costs. That agency projects total additional costs of $371 billion for the years 2007 to 2016, making a grand total of $811 billion. (This CBO estimate assumes an almost immediate downturn in annual war costs; however, it is questionable whether we have crossed that peak.)

DOD’s accounting methods continue to be problematic. The $7.1 billion that CRS reported earlier it could “not track” continues to go untracked. It appears that CRS found another $4 billion that it could “not track” .

Furthermore, DOD’s reports on war costs are incomplete and “understate expenses by over $20 billion because DOD’s financial system for tracking war costs has excluded certain types of expenses”.

DOD also refuses to provide any comprehensive estimate for the costs to replace and repair all worn out equipment.

There has been discussion of an “in-house” Army estimate of its “reset” costs at $36 billion; the Marine Corps has estimated $11.7 billion for themselves. However, these estimates do not appear to be comprehensive.

Public estimates of the number of troops deployed for Iraq do not always include those performing support in Kuwait and elsewhere in the region. CRS estimates total troop deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2005 to be 260,000.

Average per troop costs for Iraq are between $355,000 and $360,000 per individual, per year; this dollar amount has been increasing since 2003.

WINSLOW T. WHEELER is the author of The Wastrels of Defense.

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Winslow T. Wheeler is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight.  He spent 31 years working for the Government Accountability Office and both Republican and Democratic Senators on national security issues.

Weekend Edition
December 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
A Tale of Two Cities
Peter Linebaugh
The Significance of The Common Wind
Bruce E. Levine
The Ketamine Chorus: NYT Trumpets New Anti-Suicide Drug
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fathers and Sons, Bushes and Bin Ladens
Kathy Deacon
Coffee, Social Stratification and the Retail Sector in a Small Maritime Village
Nick Pemberton
Praise For America’s Second Leading Intellectual
Robert Hunziker
The Yellow Vest Insurgency – What’s Next?
Patrick Cockburn
The Yemeni Dead: Six Times Higher Than Previously Reported
Nick Alexandrov
George H. W. Bush: Another Eulogy
Brian Cloughley
Principles and Morality Versus Cash and Profit? No Contest
Michael F. Duggan
Climate Change and the Limits of Reason
Victor Grossman
Sighs of Relief in Germany
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Robert Fantina
What Does Beto Have Against the Palestinians?
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Sartre, Said, Chomsky and the Meaning of the Public Intellectual
Andrew Glikson
Crimes Against the Earth
Robert Fisk
The Parasitic Relationship Between Power and the American Media
Stephen Cooper
When Will Journalism Grapple With the Ethics of Interviewing Mentally Ill Arrestees?
Jill Richardson
A War on Science, Morals and Law
Ron Jacobs
A Propagandist of Privatization
Evaggelos Vallianatos
It’s Not Easy Being Greek
Nomi Prins 
The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
John W. Whitehead
Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them
David Swanson
The Abolition of War Requires New Thoughts, Words, and Actions
J.P. Linstroth
Primates Are Us
Bill Willers
The War Against Cash
Jonah Raskin
Doris Lessing: What’s There to Celebrate?
Ralph Nader
Are the New Congressional Progressives Real? Use These Yardsticks to Find Out
Binoy Kampmark
William Blum: Anti-Imperial Advocate
Medea Benjamin – Alice Slater
Green New Deal Advocates Should Address Militarism
John Feffer
Review: Season 2 of Trump Presidency
Rich Whitney
General Motors’ Factories Should Not Be Closed. They Should Be Turned Over to the Workers
Christopher Brauchli
Deported for Christmas
Kerri Kennedy
This Holiday Season, I’m Standing With Migrants
Mel Gurtov
Weaponizing Humanitarian Aid
Thomas Knapp
Lame Duck Shutdown Theater Time: Pride Goeth Before a Wall?
George Wuerthner
The Thrill Bike Threat to the Elkhorn Mountains
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Selfhood and Her Ability to Act in the Public Domain: Resilience of Nadia Murad
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
On the Killing of an Ash Tree
Graham Peebles
Britain’s Homeless Crisis
Louis Proyect
America: a Breeding Ground for Maladjustment
Steve Carlson
A Hell of a Time
Dan Corjescu
America and The Last Ship
Jeffrey St. Clair
Booked Up: the 25 Best Books of 2018
David Yearsley
Bikini by Rita, Voice by Anita
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail