$ 70 Billion Needed For Next 6 Months of War

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has outlined a $69.7 billion estimate of funds needed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the spring through September, a sum he calls a “personal assessment” that includes $23 billion for new weapons but does not account for costs associated with a likely increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

In a Dec. 31 letter to the leaders of the four congressional defense committees, Gates said the estimate — which would bring total fiscal year 2009 war costs to $135.6 billion — “would fund operations through the remainder of the fiscal year; replace combat losses, worn-out or stressed equipment; and replenish supplies.”

Gates characterized the figure as a “personal estimate” and not the position of the Bush administration or the incoming Obama administration. “As such, I fully expect that the new administration will conduct a fresh review of these matters and provide an updated and more authoritative proposal” once in place, he writes.
Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

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