The General Accounting Office, at least, is still using the phrase “Global War on Terrorism,” when it adds up how much the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and related matters are costing us. Their latest report, issued Monday, March 30, is called: “Global War on Terrorism: Reported Obligations for the Department of Defense.”
The bottom line: Since 2001, it’s $808 billion. (Of course, if you add collateral costs, interest, and so forth, you can get a much bigger number.) But there it is.
As the report helpfully notes:
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the President announced a Global War on Terrorism, requiring the collective instruments of the entire federal government to counter the threat of terrorism. Ongoing military and diplomatic operations overseas, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, constitute a key part of GWOT. These operations involve a wide variety of activities, such as combating insurgents, training the military forces of other nations, and conducting small-scale reconstruction and humanitarian relief projects.
About $187 billion has been provided for fiscal year 2008 and about $65.9 billion has been appropriated for use in fiscal year 2009. DOD plans on requesting an additional $75.5 billion in supplemental funds for fiscal year 2009.
Of the $808 billion, $28 billion has been spent on US military operations in defense of the “homeland,” under the rubric Operation Noble Eagle. The bulk, $533.5 billion, was spent in Iraq. And $124 billion was spent in Afghanistan (“Operation Enduring Freedom”), the Horn of Africa, and the Philippines. Most of that latter amount, of course, was spent in Afghanistan. The report adds:
Recent increases in reported obligations for Operation Enduring Freedom are in part caused by higher troop levels in Afghanistan, the costs associated with training Afghan security forces, and the need to repair and replace equipment after several years of ongoing operations.
The latest troop boost in Afghanistan isn’t reflected yet.