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Commentary :: International
War Against Terror Costs US $12 Billion a Month
23 Jul 2007
The promising title "The Way Forward" is a whitewash. Through the invasion and occupation, Iraq first became a failed state where terrorist groups thrive. The war that would cost peanuts (Wolfowitz or Perle) may actually cost $1 trillion.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are increasingly costly. The US House of Representatives votes again for withdrawal of troops from Iraq

By Florian Roetzer

[This article published in the German-English cyber journal Telepolis 7/13/2007 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]

The situation in Iraq is no reason for confidence for the US government. Despite more troops, there is no real progress. This was the conclusion of the report [1] of the White House for Congress despite all the whitewashing and the promising title “The Way Forward.” The future looks depressing because neither withdrawal nor a larger presence promise resolution. In both cases, the region will drift further into crisis. To justify his policy, US president Bush foments [2] the fear that chaos and great danger for the West and the US threaten with withdrawal. With a bare majority, the House of Representatives has resolved again the withdrawal of troops from Iraq by April 2008. Whether the White House can prevent this before Bush’s retirement is hard to predict.

The majority of Americans are through with the war in Iraq. The troops should pull out of Iraq. The working model of the White House that the war against terrorism has to be waged against Iraq has long turned out to be a lie. Through the invasion and occupation, Iraq first became a “failed state” where terrorist groups thrive that can plan actions against the US sometime or other.

In addition, the war against terrorism that Bush and Cheney quickly expanded to Iraq in 2001 thanks to favorable circumstances and would only cost peanuts [3] devours more and more funds. According to a report [4] of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), more than $610 billion flowed directly into the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq from 9/11/2001 to May 2007. Only a fragment of that went to reconstruction.

The intervention in Iraq devoured $450 billion. Operation Enduring Freedom cost $127 billion. Construction of the bases is estimated at $28 billion. The CRS could not explain the expenditure of $5 billion. 93 percent of the money went to the pentagon, 7% was spent for relief programs and embassy activities and 1 percent for medical treatment of veterans.

In the 2007 budget year, the pentagon with an additional $165 billion for the war obtained 40 percent more than in 2006. The State Department received $6.3 billion. In 2007 the Pentagon spent $12 billion a month for the war. In 2006 it was $8.7 billion. The Pentagon provided no adequate justification for the continuing increase of costs since 2002, CRS said. For the 2008 budget year, over $141 billion are earmarked for the Pentagon – in addition to the normal budget of $481 billion – and $4.6 billion for the State Department. If Congress approves the funds, the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan will have cost $758 billion directly. If the troop strength is reduced to 30,000 men by 2010, additional costs of at least $470 billion would arise for the next 10 years. Thus the global war on terror (GWOT) will have cost Americans a trillion dollars in direct funds that only the most daring critics could have predicted before the war. Of course, these critics were not taken seriously.

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