How Much Are We Spending in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The (nation building) party of fiscal spending is shelling out $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Annual war costs in Iraq are easily outpacing the $61 billion a year that the United States spent in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972, in today's dollars. The Iraq invasion's "shock and awe" phase of high-tech laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles and stealth aircraft has long faded, but the costs of even those early months are just coming into view as the military confronts equipment repair and rebuilding costs it has avoided and procurement costs it never expected.
"We did not predict early on that we would have the number of electronic jammers that we've got. We did not predict we'd have as many (heavily) armored vehicles that we have, nor did we have a good prediction about what our battle losses would be," Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"If you look at the earlier estimates of anticipated costs, this war is a lot more expensive than it should be based on past conflicts," said Steven Kosiak, director of budget studies for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent defense think tank.
The issue will be hotly debated next week when the Senate takes up a record $106.5 billion emergency spending bill that includes $72.4 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House passed a $92 billion version of the bill last month that included $68 billion in war funding. That comes on top of $50 billion already allocated for the war this fiscal year.