Tallies Cost of War through September 30, 2010: $747 billion for Iraq, $299 billion for Afghanistan

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Christopher Hellman,
Director of Research 
chellman@nationalpriorities.org
or
Jo Comerford, Executive Director
413.559.1649 (cell)

Tallies Cost of War through September 30, 2010: $747 billion for Iraq, $299 billion for Afghanistan

NORTHHAMPTON, Mass - Congress
has appropriated an additional $136.8 billion for wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan for the 2010 fiscal year.  National Priorities Project
estimates that for this fiscal year, $64.5 billion is directed to Iraq
and $72.3 billion to Afghanistan.  Bills that included war-related
funding were the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act
(H.R. 2892) passed on October 28, 2009; the Consolidated Appropriations
Act (H.R. 3288) passed on December 16, 2009; and the Department of
Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 3326) passed on December 19, 2009.

These
new appropriations bring total war-related spending for Iraq to $747.3
billion and for Afghanistan to $299 billion, with total war costs of
$1.05 trillion[1]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.  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.

These
current year appropriations do not include funds to support the “surge”
of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan proposed by the Obama
administration on December 1, 2009.  Conservative estimates suggest
that it will cost approximately $30 billion to fund this surge. 
Supplemental appropriations for this funding are expected later this
year.

Since
2001, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and related activities have
been funded through emergency supplemental appropriations. In a clear
departure from this practice, the Obama administration integrated the
FY2010 war funding into the core budget appropriations process.  “While
this process purportedly allows for greater scrutiny and control over
the allocation of tax dollars relative to the emergency supplemental funding process, it has –
ironically – also become more difficult to ascertain the exact spending
amounts directed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Past supplemental bills
outlined funding almost exclusively for war costs whereas departmental
appropriations combine these war costs with all other departmental
funds for the entire fiscal year,” notes Barb Chalfonte, NPP Senior
Research Associate.

War
funding was found within three separate appropriations bills with the
bulk of money in the Defense Appropriations Bill passed just before
Congress left for their winter break.  In addition to defense funding,
this bill was used to extend Food Stamp benefits (Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP), unemployment benefits, and COBRA
payments to continue health insurance coverage for the unemployed[2].

NPP
will continue to follow Iraq and Afghanistan war funding including any
supplemental bills to support the Afghanistan surge that has already
begun as well as any other additional war costs.

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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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