News Release

$96 Billion More for War


The Washington Post reports today, “The House passed a bill yesterday that would provide more than $96 billion in funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through Sept. 30, as President Obama had requested, but a bloc of 51 Democrats opposed it.

“Democratic opponents are accusing Obama of the same charge they leveled against his predecessor: escalating a war without a clear exit strategy.”

Executive director of the National Priorities Project, Comerford said today: “Each dollar spent on war in Afghanistan and Iraq is a dollar not spent on human needs here at home. For instance, taxpayers in Maryland will pay $2 billion for yesterday’s House supplemental vote. For the same amount of money, they could have provided four years of health care for 75,000 people, or sent 50,000 students to four-year colleges — for free.

“Of President Obama’s initial $83.4 billion supplemental request, our analyses showed that $77.1 billion was for war and ancillary operations. Of that, we estimated that $52.7 billion was dedicated to the Iraq war for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2009. The estimated remaining $24.4 billion in war-funding is for the expanding war in Afghanistan and related operations.

“At roughly 70/30 (70 percent for Iraq and 30 percent for Afghanistan), this funding split begins departing from the 80/20 split that existed for years and is an indication of the rising costs in Afghanistan.

“To date, the cost of war approved by Congress is $830.2 billion with $657.3 billion to Iraq and $172.9 billion to Afghanistan. The $77.1 billion from the initial supplemental request brought total war spending to $907.3 billion since 2001. Should the Senate join the House in considering additional supplemental funding, total war spending could easily exceed $915 billion.”

The National Priorities Project’s web page features a “cost of war” counter as well as a “trade-offs” section, which calculates the localized cost of federal spending decisions.
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167