The Congressional Research Service, which provides nonpartisan analyses for lawmakers, has calculated Iraq costs for the first two years at $121.8 billion, using higher defense figures than the administration. Either way, the number will grow dramatically in the near future.
Bush has already requested an additional $25 billion for the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, with the bulk of the money headed to Iraq. Administration officials have said they expect to eventually seek more than $50 billion for 2005.
Note of course that the longer the time US forces are in Iraq the higher the costs will go. A higher source estimate in this article is $160 billion. Other sources have projected the total costs as high as $300 billion to $450 billion.
The United States already has a large budget deficit even as it is approaching a financial crisis caused by an aging population and can ill-afford an expensive and yet ineffective national security policy.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2004 June 03 11:16 AM Mideast Iraq Costs|