Iraq war spending

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The Iraq War Cost How Much?!

Depending on how you count, as much as $7.7T

(Newser) - How much do you think the war in Iraq was worth, in dollars? Was your figure more or less than $7.7 trillion? Because that's how much the war might end up costing, according to a new study from Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. So far,... More »

Iraq, Afghan Wars Put 'Severe' Hit on US Finances

And limited lawmakers' ability to address downturn: Study

(Newser) - In the short term, wars might help the US economy—but the brief uplift is just a bubble, according to a report. In the long run, wars are a serious drag on the country's finances, the Institute for Economics and Peace finds after studying all major American wars since... More »

US Will Halve Vast Iraq Embassy

Officials cite Iraqi obstructionism, mutual suspicion for thwarting mission

(Newser) - The United States' hulking $750 million Baghdad embassy is home to 16,000 staff and carries a $6 billion price tag annually—and it's about to get slashed in half in the wake of US troops' departure, reports the New York Times . It's quite the about-face for the... More »

Super Committee Wants to Count $700B War Savings

'Gimmick' would pay for things like payroll tax cut

(Newser) - The congressional super committee isn’t any closer to a deal, but consensus is growing around one thing: Counting the roughly $700 billion the country intends to stop spending in Iraq and Afghanistan toward its total. The idea has budget experts enraged—one member of a bipartisan group called it... More »

US Wars Price Tag Nears $4T

Action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan approaching cost of WWII: study

(Newser) - The real cost of American military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan dwarfs the $1.3 trillion appropriated on Capitol Hill, according to a study by Brown University's nonpartisan Eisenhower Research Project. The study estimates that the war bills already paid or obligated to be paid are at least... More »

Blame Elite, Not Voters, for Deficit Mess

Those 'lecturing' on deficit helped get us here in the first place: Paul Krugman

(Newser) - More and more people have been telling Paul Krugman that the budget deficit is the people’s fault: “Weak-minded politicians catered to the electorate’s foolishness.” But that viewpoint is not only “self-serving, it’s dead wrong,” writes Krugman in the New York Times . Instead, we... More »

Derelict Iraqi Water Park a Symbol of US Fund Abuses

Program gave US officers great flexibility, but also led to waste

(Newser) - A derelict water park in Baghdad is testament to the waste and mismanagement of a $5 billion rebuilding program run by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past six years, reports the Washington Post . The Commander's Emergency Response Program all but did away with bureaucratic hassles, giving... More »

Dems Block GOP War Bill Filibuster

Gates slams tactic to delay health bill

(Newser) - Senate Democrats beat back a Republican attempt to filibuster a huge Pentagon spending bill in a post-midnight session last night. Republican success would have forced the government to seek a new stopgap way to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delaying health care legislation in the process. Three Republicans... More »

Obama's Cell Phone Plea Helps Clear War Funds

Last-minute tensions healed; measure set to pass next week

(Newser) - Congressional leaders settled on a $106 billion spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan last night, but it took a last-minute intervention by President Obama via Rahm Emanuel's cell phone. When talks got bogged down over the release of detainee photos, Emanuel rushed to the Capitol and had... More »

Obama Blasts 'Casual Dishonesty' of Bush Budgets

(Newser) - At a White House “fiscal responsibility summit” today, President Obama opened fire on what he called the Bush administration’s “casual dishonesty” about the federal budget, Politico reports. “Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years,” Obama said, “we cannot simply spend... More »

As Troops Exit Iraq, US Spends More on Contractors

$1.2B spent for private security firms; critics say Iraqis should be picking up slack instead

(Newser) - American troops are trickling home, but at a hefty cost: The US has spent more than $1.2 billion this year on private security contractors—mostly to protect diplomats, but also to secure infrastructure and supplies, USA Today reports. The State Department says now that focus has shifted to rebuilding,... More »

US Contractor Bills in Iraq to Hit $100B

Workers outnumber troops, account for 20% of war spending

(Newser) - By the end of the year, the US will have spent $100 billion on private defense contractors in Iraq, a congressional report finds, showing more private-sector reliance than any previous wartime. Some 20% of funds spent on the war have gone to contractors, whose numbers are now greater than the... More »

Iraq Has $79B Budget Surplus

GAO says Bagdad sitting on a lot of money, raising complaints from US senators

(Newser) - The Iraqi government could end this year with as much as a $79 billion cumulative budget surplus, based largely on ever-increasing oil revenues, US congressional auditors say. A report by the Government Accountability Office made public today prompted renewed calls from senators that Baghdad pay more of the bill for... More »

War Spending Strategy: Soak the Grandkids

War without taxes defies all of US history. Why are we allowing it?

(Newser) - As Congress tackles the latest "emergency" spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total to more than $860 billion, Ruth Marcus notes in the Washington Post: "For the first time in American history, every penny of that amount will have been borrowed. For the first time, billions... More »

Audit Shows Billions Unaccounted for in Iraq

Almost $8.2B in Iraq War funding evaded federal rules, reports the Pentagon

(Newser) - A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in taxpayer money spent in Iraq found that nearly all of the handouts skirted federal rules, and millions of dollars in contracts were awarded with little or no record of what they were for, reports the New York Times. Take the $320.8... More »

Make Dams and Food, Not War and Ethanol

A dollar of prevention is worth many times that in cure, researcher pleads

(Newser) - Ethanol is among the "poor solutions to high-profile problems" researcher Bjorn Lomborg blasts in the Wall Street Journal. According to calculations by his Copenhagen Consensus, “carbon mitigation policies” return only 90 cents for every dollar spent; in contrast, he writes, $1 billion spent on tuberculosis would result in... More »

House Rejects $162.5B Bill to Fund Wars

Republicans abstain in protest, leading to surprise defeat

(Newser) - The House today shot down a $162.5 billion bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year after a surprise tactic by angry Republicans, the Washington Post reports. The bill failed by a vote of 148-141 after 132 members of the GOP abstained. By doing so,... More »

Dems Assail McCain on War

Obama would defy Petraeus to withdraw; DNC ads knock Mac's '100 years' in Iraq

(Newser) - Barack Obama and John McCain clashed over Iraq today, as the DNC readies an ad campaign criticizing McCain's now-infamous remark about keeping troops in Iraq for 100 years. In a Fox News interview, Obama pledged to withdraw troops from Iraq even if Gen. David Petraeus advised against it. But the... More »

'Too Old' Byrd to Critics: Shut Up!

Senator, 90, flexes muscle at hearing

(Newser) - History's longest-serving senator has two words for people who think he's no longer up to the job of chairing the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee: "Shut up." Democrat Robert Byrd, 90, has been hospitalized twice this year but his management of a two-hour hearing on Iraq war spending yesterday... More »

Petraeus Sees No New Troop Buildup in Iraq

General wraps up two days of testimony before Congress

(Newser) - Gen. David H. Petraeus told the House Armed Forces Committee today that he does not foresee another buildup of US armed forces in Iraq, calling the possibility of a new surge "a pretty remote thought in my mind." If violences escalates again, the Army will make do with... More »

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