The Pentagon has asked the White House for an additional $99.7 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a total increase of $50 billion over last year’s record spending. According to the Congressional Research Service, military spending on Iraq, Afghanistan and other operations has exceeded $500 billion so far.
The military’s request, if embraced by President Bush and approved by Congress, would boost this year’s budget for those wars to about $170 billion.
Military planners assembled the proposal at a time when Bush is developing new strategies for Iraq, such as sending thousands more U.S. troops there, although it was put together before the president said the troop surge was under consideration.
Overall, the war in Iraq has cost about $350 billion. Combined with the conflict in Afghanistan and operations against terrorism elsewhere, the cost has topped $500 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.
The additional funds, if approved, would push this year’s cost of the war in Iraq to about $50 billion over last year’s record. In September, Congress approved an initial $70 billion for the current budget year, which began Oct. 1.