On September 22, 2006, the Congressional Research Service published the latest update of its report, "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11" by Amy Belasco. Warning: that's a pdf.
Belasco includes an interesting item about the costs of the Iraq war, on page 9:
From the initial $2.5 billion tapped from previous appropriations to prepare for the invasion, Iraq costs may rise to $100.4 billion in FY2006 to continue current military operations, foreign aid programs, embassy support, and VA benefits.9Initial costs, you ask?
Footnote 9 helps:
9 This initial funding generated controversy in 2004 because it appears that few in Congress were aware that DOD used $2.5 billion from funding appropriated before the resolution [p. 10] authorizing the use of force was passed. A note in a DOD table listing monthly obligations for Iraq from the FY2003 and FY2004 supplementals stated that an additional $2.5 billion for Iraq was available from “prior year funds” (presumably P.L. 107-38, P.L. 107-117, or P.L. 107-206, the previous two supplementals). CRS could not obtain details on this spending.As recent public hearings have demonstrated, it's easy to lose track of a billion dollars or two (or 20) in the midst of a big war.
Hat tip to Jonathan Schwarz, who first noted this discrepancy in late 2005.
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