Tag Archives: War costs

Army Budget Grows Ever Larger

The budget for the United States Army which was sent to Congress on February 4 is 9% higher than current-year Army funding, but it does not include operational funds for the wars in iraq and Afghanistan and some procurement, recruiting and retention programs needed to maintain the readiness of combat forces. The Bush administration asks Congress to fund one budget, but that budget is really not THE budget. For example, the Army’s base budget for 2008 is $129 billion, but at least another $128 billion in war funding wll be added to that total for an overall expenditure in 2008 of $257 billion. The US Army request constitutes about 27% of the Defense Department request for $515 billion.

Currently th ere are 523,000 soldiers in the Regular Army, even though the Army’s base budget calls for 489,000. the additional soldiers, and the recruiting and retention incentives needed to maintain the large force have so far been funded from war supplement money. The Bush method of funding its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is never clear since additional money is usually hidden in budgets of other areas of the government like the State Department or in reseach funds. One result is an inability of the American people to actually know the true cost of fighting in far off lands.

Hopefully, a new administration will be more honest with the American people and present a true military budget that includes all cost.

Hidden Costs Of Iraq-Afghanistan Wars Double What Bush Claims

A report entitled, “The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War” says the cost of wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan was almost double what Bush has requested for military operations in 2008. Since both wars began, President Bush has essentially been give a carte blanche checkbook to spend whatever he claims is necessary because Democrats are either divided or unable to garner sufficient votes to overcome the 60 required in the Senate. The new report was prepared by Democrats and includes “hidden costs” such as higher oil prices, treatment of the war wounded, and interest on monies borrowed to fund both wars.” This report, states Senator Schumer, “makes crystal clear is that the cost to our country in lives lost and dollars spent is tragically unacceptable.” The total cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is expected to exceed $1.6 trillion. Schumer also notes that money spent on fighting wars is money diverted from being invested in productive aspects of the American economy.

Historians have noted that wars stimulate certain aspects of economies but also divert money from many productive components of a nation’s productive drive. Of course, no amount of money can compensate families of loved ones who have died in wars that never should have been fought.