Today's Article
The CBO tells us
just how many
billions Bush's
'fruitless
nation-building' in
Iraq has cost us.
The American Spark
Congressional Budget Office Releases Cost Analysis of Iraq War

By Cliff Montgomery - Mar. 19th, 2007

On February 7th, 2007, The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a cost-of-war analysis to the Senate
Budget Committee. The short study summarized the funding costs for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq
and Afghanistan, as well as for other operations in the "war on terrorism" through January 31, 2007.

As the anniversary of the "war of choice" (Iraq) at the expense of the necessary war against al-Qaeda
centered in Afghanistan once again rolls around, the CBO's sober analysis of monetary cost seems as good a
companion as any to this saga of lost lives, limbs, and minds for George W. Bush's "fruitless nation-building."  

We quote from the analysis below:

ESTIMATED FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE

"Since September 2001, policymakers have provided $503 billion in budget authority for military and diplomatic
operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other regions in support of the war on terrorism.

"At least 70 percent of that amount has been allocated for the war in Iraq.

"Funding for military operations and other defense activities totals $448 billion thus far, nearly all of which has
gone to the Department of Defense (DoD). (Funding for intelligence agencies and the Coast Guard accounts
for less than 1 percent of that total.)

"In addition, policymakers provided $15 billion during the 2005–2007 period to train and equip indigenous
security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. (They provided another $5 billion for Iraqi security forces in 2004, but
because that appropriation went to the Department of State’s Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, the
money was classified as spending for international affairs.)

"Including the $15 billion for indigenous security forces, appropriations for defense-related activities in Iraq and
Afghanistan and for the war on terrorism since September 2001 total $463 billion.

"In addition to funding for defense activities, lawmakers since 2001 have appropriated just over $34 billion for
diplomatic operations and foreign aid to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries that are assisting the United
States in the war on terrorism.

"Including the $5 billion provided in 2004 to the State Department for Iraqi security forces, funding since 2001
for activities related to international affairs [therefore] totals about $40 billion. About half of that amount, $21
billion, was appropriated for the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund.

"Because most appropriations for operations in Iraq and the war on terrorism appear in the same budget
accounts with appropriations for DoD’s other activities, determining what has actually been spent is difficult.
However, CBO estimates that appropriations to DoD for operations in Iraq and the war on terrorism resulted in
outlays of about $310 billion through fiscal year 2006.

"About $95 billion of those outlays occurred in fiscal year 2006, CBO estimates. Of the funds appropriated for
international affairs activities, CBO estimates that close to $30 billion has been spent.

THE ADMINISTRATION’S BUDGET REQUEST

"On February 5, 2007, the Administration submitted a supplemental budget request for almost $100 billion in
additional funding for 2007: $84 billion for military operations and other defense activities, $10 billion for
indigenous security forces, and almost $5 billion for diplomatic activities and foreign aid.

"The President’s budget proposal for 2008 includes a request for another $137 billion for military operations, $5
billion for indigenous security forces, and $3 billion for diplomatic operations and foreign aid. If the requested
amounts are appropriated, funding since 2003 for 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' would total $532 billion, CBO
estimates. Funding since 2001 for all operations in the war on terrorism would total $746 billion.

"The  Congress provided about $5 billion...to train and equip indigenous security forces in Iraq and
Afghanistan...in 2006, and another $3 billion so far in 2007. Based on the funding level in 2006, CBO estimates
that DoD would require about $60 billion over the 2008–2017 period.

"Funding for operations in Iraq accounts for 75 percent to 80 percent of all the funding provided for the war on
terrorism in 2005 and 2006. That proportion seems plausible for the next two years but beyond 2008, the
allocation of troop deployments and costs to specific operations is highly uncertain."