Iraq War news

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Additional $65 billion requested for Afghan, Iraq wars

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Additional $65 billion requested for Afghan, Iraq wars: "By Andrew Taylor

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. military spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will rise to $115 billion for this year — nearly $400 billion since the fighting started — under a new White House request submitted to Congress on Thursday."

A separate request for almost $20 billion in new hurricane relief funds would bring total spending in response to Katrina and Rita to more than $100 billion.

The Bush administration submitted a $65.3 billion war request, and Pentagon officials said the money would be sufficient to conduct the two wars at least through Sept. 30. Congress had approved $50 billion more for the war in December.

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The war in Iraq now costs about $5.9 billion a month, while Afghanistan operations cost about $900 million a month, said Pentagon Comptroller Tina Jonas. That doesn't include the costs of replacing worn-out or destroyed equipment or training Iraqi and Afghan forces.

The Pentagon said the latest request assumes a U.S. force of 138,000 troops on the ground in Iraq through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, even though the administration has signaled troop numbers could fall below that this year.

The supplemental spending request for the wars would bring the total price tag for the Iraq and Afghanistan missions to almost $400 billion. President Bush's budget anticipates an additional $50 billion for the budget year beginning Oct. 1, though the costs are likely to be much greater.

Thursday's dual requests came 10 days after Bush submitted his $2.8 trillion federal budget for 2007.

Congress is likely to vote on the massive requests next month.

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