The Cost of Escalation

The Cost of Escalation

The Iraq war is currently costing American taxpayers $8.4 billion a month. Expect that number to rise when President Bush’s escalation fully kicks into effect.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, deploying 20,000 combat forces for four months will cost $5 billion. Keeping the troops there for a year pushes the price tag to $11 billion.

The CBO report, however, suggests that the number of troops needed for the mission–and the cost of deploying them–is even larger than what the Bush Administration is letting on.

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Flipboard
Pocket

The Iraq war is currently costing American taxpayers $8.4 billion a month. Expect that number to rise when President Bush’s escalation fully kicks into effect.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, deploying 20,000 combat forces for four months will cost $5 billion. Keeping the troops there for a year pushes the price tag to $11 billion.

The CBO report, however, suggests that the number of troops needed for the mission–and the cost of deploying them–is even larger than what the Bush Administration is letting on.

In the past few years, a normal combat brigade deployed to Iraq has consisted of 4,000 combat troops and 5,500 support personnel to assist them. The Bush Administration’s plan calls for an increase of 21,500 combat troops–but makes no mention of the support personnel needed.

If the Department of Defense follows standard protocol for the escalation, 28,000 support troops will need to reinforce the 21,500 combat troops. Even a smaller footprint could require 15,000 support troops. The real size of the escalation, then, more closely resembles 35,000 to 48,000 American soldiers, at a cost of $9 to $13 billion for four months and $20 to $27 billion for a year.

Naturally, such a scenario has members of Congress concerned. “The cost of the troop increase could be significantly higher than what the Administration has been saying in the press,” said Ike Skelton, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. ” We will want to carefully investigate just how big the President’s troop increase really is.”

Could this be yet another case of the Bush Administration’s “fuzzy math?”

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It’s just one of many examples of incisive, deeply-reported journalism we publish—journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media. For nearly 160 years, The Nation has spoken truth to power and shone a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug.

In a critical election year as well as a time of media austerity, independent journalism needs your continued support. The best way to do this is with a recurring donation. This month, we are asking readers like you who value truth and democracy to step up and support The Nation with a monthly contribution. We call these monthly donors Sustainers, a small but mighty group of supporters who ensure our team of writers, editors, and fact-checkers have the resources they need to report on breaking news, investigative feature stories that often take weeks or months to report, and much more.

There’s a lot to talk about in the coming months, from the presidential election and Supreme Court battles to the fight for bodily autonomy. We’ll cover all these issues and more, but this is only made possible with support from sustaining donors. Donate today—any amount you can spare each month is appreciated, even just the price of a cup of coffee.

The Nation does not bow to the interests of a corporate owner or advertisers—we answer only to readers like you who make our work possible. Set up a recurring donation today and ensure we can continue to hold the powerful accountable.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy
x