President Obama has now requested another $83 billion in emergency supplemental funding for FY 2009 to fund current operations in Iraq and to expand operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  This brings the up-front operating costs of the war to nearly $1 trillion.   After you adjust that figure to reflect inflation since 2001, is actually well above the $1 trillion mark.  For 2009 alone, this means that we will be spending $12 billion each month to support an average of 140,000 US troops in Iraq and to increase US troops in Afghanistan to 45,000.

As we document in the Three Trillion Dollar War, this amount is still just the tip of the iceberg. It does not include all the payments we will need to make for care and benefits to the more than 80,000 US troops who have been wounded or injured in the war, or the health care for the more than 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are seeking medical care from the VA.   Nor does it include the costs of rebuilding the military, of replacing equipment, or paying interest on the money we are borrowing to pay for the war (all of it).  It also doesn’t include the money for future years.  When you add these up,  the true cost of the war will exceed $3 trillion, even making conservative assumptions.

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