National Priorities Project Tallies Cost of War Through September 30, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jo Comerford, Executive Director - 413.559.1649
jo@nationalpriorities.org, www.nationalpriorities.org

National Priorities Project Tallies Cost of War Through September 30, 2009

$687 billion for Iraq, $228 billion for Afghanistan

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - Congress has
appropriated another $84.8 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for
the remainder of the 2009 fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. The
Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, signed into law by President
Obama on June 24, 2009, allocates $45.5 billion for war-related actions
in Iraq and $39.4 billion to Afghanistan[1] [2].

These new
appropriations bring total war-related spending for Iraq to $687
billion and for Afghanistan to $228 billion, with a total war cost of
$915.1 billion[3]. National Priorities Project (NPP) updated its Cost of War counters
to reflect the new totals and to show the local costs of these wars to
states and many cities. Please note that the cost of war in Iraq has
decreased since our last estimate because
Congress allocated a larger proportion of war spending to Afghanistan
than originally estimated. NPP's trade-off tool
allows you to explore what services could be obtained for your
community with the same amount of money that Congress has appropriated
for war spending.

President Obama's
initial supplemental request (delivered April 2009) included
approximately $77 billion for U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which
was approximately 90% of all requested funding. The final supplemental
increased war-related spending by nearly $8 billion, yet total war
spending now accounts for about 80% of supplemental spending.

"No matter how we slice
the numbers, we must consider that each dollar spent to fight wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq is a dollar not spent to further some other
endeavor. For example, Massachusetts taxpayers will contribute well
over $2 billion toward the total cost of this supplemental. For the
same amount of money, legislators could provide four years of
healthcare for 95,000 people, send 56,000 students to four years of
college or cut Massachusetts's state deficit in half," notes Jo
Comerford, Executive Director, National Priorities Project.

President Obama's FY
2010 budget calls for an additional $130 billion in war spending,
meaning that the U.S. will likely reach the $1 trillion marker by next
spring.

[1] Of
the Congress approved supplemental spending, NPP analyses show that
$84.8 billion is for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This includes
Department of Defense provisions including Military Personnel,
Operations & Maintenance, Procurement, and Military Construction;
Department of State provisions including Diplomatic and Consular
Programs and Economic Support; and Department of Justice provisions.
[2] Previous
NPP analyses have attributed 80% unspecified war funding to operations
in Iraq and 20% to operations in Afghanistan. In light of the troop
level reductions announced thus far for Iraq and increases announced
for Afghanistan in 2009, we have made new estimates of approximately
58% unspecified funding to Iraq and 42% to Afghanistan.
[3] Total
war funding to date includes all approved funds for Afghanistan since
FY2001 plus all approved funds for Iraq since FY2003.
See CRS Report RL33110 May 2009

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The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent.  Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels.  For more information, go to http://nationalpriorities.org.

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