Tag Archives: Economy

The Cost Of War Without End

According to the Congressional Research Service: The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Amy Belasco
Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget

If the Administration’s request for $139 billion in war costs is enacted, cumulative appropriations
for the Afghan and Iraq wars would reach $1.08 trillion dollars. As the number of troops in
Afghanistan rises and those in Iraq falls, reflecting President Obama’s decisions in March 2009,
the share of overall costs begins to shift to Afghanistan. The $1.08 trillion total includes:

• $706 billion for Iraq (69%);
• $300 billion for Afghanistan (28%);
• $29 billion for enhanced security (3%); and
• $5 billion unallocated DOD costs (1%).

In FY2010, annual war costs decline by 8% as the total number of deployed troops falls from the
peaks reached in FY2008 and FY2009. The peak of 188,000 in-country in Afghanistan and Iraq
in FY2008 is about the same troop level as in FY2009 as additional troops for Afghanistan offset
initial withdrawals in Iraq.

The $73 billion in war costs for Afghanistan in FY2010 represents a $30 billion or 70% increase
over FY2008, two years earlier (see Table 1). With that increase, the balance between the cost of
Iraq and Afghanistan would shift—with Afghan war costs exceeding that of Iraq for the first time.
In FY2008, the cost of Iraq was 75% and that of Afghanistan 25%. Two years later, Iraq would
make up 47% and Afghanistan 53% of the total.

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
Congressional Research Service

For later years, the Administration included initial planning estimates of $50 billion for war costs
in FY2011- FY2012 in its first budget document.

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