News Release

Iraq War Supplemental: Troops and Costs

ERIK LEAVER
A research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Leaver is closely following the supplemental. He said today: “Contrary to what has been discussed, the proposed supplemental ensures continued U.S. troops in Iraq beyond August 2008. In addition to the granting of waivers for the President to allow non-combat ready troops and continue the use of stop-loss, the legislation allows for: 40,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq as ‘trainers,’ ‘counter-terrorist forces,’ or for ‘protection for embassy/diplomats.’

“There is nothing in the legislation about contractors or mercenary forces, which now number about 100,000 in Iraq. …

“The bill notes that no funds shall be expended to ‘Establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq’ — but provides billions for military construction funds.”
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PAMELA SCHWARTZ
Communications director for the National Priorities Project, Schwartz said today: “If Congress authorizes $100 billion more in war spending, the total price tag since this war began will approach a half a trillion dollars. In the lead-up to the war, the Office of Management and Budget estimated a cost of $50-60 billion. This $400 billion difference has an enormous impact on our local communities. The National Priorities Project [through its web page] offers breakdowns by state and congressional district on what the money spent on the Iraq war could buy in local services such as health insurance for children, scholarships for university students, affordable housing and more. The voters deserve to know what these dollar decisions mean closer to home.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167