When the Christian Science Monitor tells you the price tag of the War on Terror is $500 Billion and climbing, you need to understand that this half a trillion (almost real money, right?) is just the start. Most agencies and news organizations say that Rumsfeld's Pentagon isn't really tracking costs on the War on Terror, so we have no real idea what it costs except that we've committed $500 Billion where they DO count. For example, the cost of the Iraq War is already at over $350 Billion alone. See that war cost counter down on the right side of this blog.
From The Monitor:
Whether troop levels increase in coming months, or decrease, or stay the same, one aspect of the US military effort in Iraq is unlikely to change: It will be expensive.Remember how Bush and Congress keep telling us we can't have universal health care because it's too expensive?
The cost of combat in Iraq has now surpassed $300 billion, according to government estimates. Add in activities in Afghanistan, and the total price of the global war on terror is about $500 billion, making it one of the most monetarily costly conflicts in which the nation has ever engaged.
Now the Department of Defense is in the process of drawing up its follow-on request for the remainder of FY 2007. Reports indicate that the Pentagon could ask for $120 billion to $160 billion, which would be its largest funding request yet for the global war on terror.
After they take control of Congress next year, Democrats will almost certainly investigate both the rate of Iraq spending and the manner in which it has been appropriated. Much of the war has been funded through supplementals, so-called emergency bills whose use in this case has become increasingly controversial in Congress.
"We're now at $507 billion for the global war on terror and counting, and almost all of that has been pushed through a process that doesn't give proper scrutiny to the budget. Are we spending it wisely?" says Gordon Adams, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center who was the senior White House official for national security budgets under President Clinton.
Last month, Congress approved $70 billion in spending intended to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the first six months of fiscal 2007, which began Oct. 1 for the US government.
The size of the request under discussion reflects both the continued nature of the mission and past wear-and-tear. Both the Army and the Air Force need billions to replace expensive hardware worn out by the pace of warfare in Iraq.
Before the invasion of Iraq, the White House estimated that combat operations there would cost about $50 billion. That forecast, however, was based on a quick end to the war and a rapid drawdown of US troops.
Well, I tell you, for just the $500 Billion we've already spent (and remember, this is just part of what we've spent or committed to so far), we could have developed, implemented, and funded for the next several years a very comprehensive, everyone-included universal health care system. And this would have SAVED lives rather than cost so many (again, the number of deaths from our wars are also not counted) and not created the tons of enemies the Bushies have.
Ask yourself why.