Wars Cost $12 Billion a Month

Report: Wars Costing $12 Billion a Month

Washington – The boost in troop levels in Iraq has increased the cost of war there and in Afghanistan to $12 billion a month, and the total for Iraq alone is nearing a half-trillion dollars, congressional analysts say.

All told, Congress has appropriated $610 billion in war-related money since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults, roughly the same as the war in Vietnam. Iraq alone has cost $450 billion.

For the 2007 budget year, CRS says, the $166 billion appropriated to the Pentagon represents a 40 percent increase over 2006.

The Vietnam War, after accounting for inflation, cost taxpayers $650 billion, according to separate CRS estimates.

The $12 billion a month “burn rate” includes $10 billion for Iraq and almost $2 billion for Afghanistan, plus other minor costs. That’s higher than Pentagon estimates earlier this year of $10 billion a month for both operations. Two years ago, the average monthly cost was about $8 billion.

We’re paying pretty heavy for a way that was supposed to pay for itself, huh? Here’s a little walk down memory lane:

“The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”
— Budget Director Mitch Daniels, April 2003

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”
— Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, March 2003

“If you worry about just the cost, the money, Iraq is a very different situation from Afghanistan. Iraq has oil. They have financial resources.”
— Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Fall 2002