Monday, October 25, 2004

The Politics of War

WaPo is reporting that the Bush Administration is preparing a funding request for the Iraq war in the $70 billion dollar range. (Of course they don't plan to officially ask for this until after the election.) On top of monies already spent and promised, this will bring the total cost of the war north of $225 billion. The key passages for me:
The senior Pentagon official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said final figures may be shaped by the outcome of the presidential election and events in Iraq. But assuming force levels will remain constant in Iraq at about 130,000 troops, the final bill will be "roughly" $70 billion for the military alone, he said.

In making cost estimates for the supplemental budget request, Pentagon officials have distanced themselves from the Bush administration's public optimism about trends in Iraq. Instead, they make the fairly pessimistic assumption that about as many troops will be needed there next year as are currently on the ground.
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The White House has been careful to keep the war spending numbers "close to the vest," Dyer said. But Pentagon officials have been working on the request for two to three months, even as they put together their far larger budget request for fiscal 2006, the Pentagon official said.
Not to mention the cost of invading Iran and Syria. Oops did I say that out loud?

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