When it comes to U.S. losses in Iraq, obviously the top concern is the tragic rate of fatalities and casualties. Nothing else comes close.
But if we’re going to consider the latter half of the “blood and treasure” equation, Noah Shachtman reminds us today that the financial cost of the war is soaring.
It’s not just the troops that are surging. War costs are up for American operations in Iraq — way up, more than a third higher than last year. In the first half of this fiscal year, the Defense Department’s “average monthly obligations for contracts and pay is running about $12 billion per month, well above the $8.7 billion in FY2006,” says a new report, obtained by DANGER ROOM, from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service:
“Additional war costs for the next 10 years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010, or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017.”
No matter how one looks at it, “surging” ain’t cheap.