The Pentagon, which favors a surge in US troops to Afghanistan knows how defense bidding goes. They’ve seen enough of it from the large defense contractors to know that you bid low and reconcile at a multiple of two or three times higher than the contract later.
That is what the Pentagon seems to be doing by suggesting that each new troop addition that the United States sends to Afghanistan will cost about $500,000. The White House is suggesting the price tag will be double that amount – or $1 million per new soldier per year.
And can I add that these figures do not seem to include the long term health costs that the US commits to with our soldiers — nor other ongoing benefits.
That means that a surge of 40,000 troops will cost approximately $40 Billion on top of the $65 billion/year the US is currently spending on its military deployments.
David Obey, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has now said that if the administration wants this war, it will have to pay for it — and will have to impose a “surtax” on US citizens.
The health care bill that is being considered by the Congress now costs approximately $85 billion/year — just to set some context.
For more context, Afghanistan’s nominal GDP was $11.7 billion last year.
That’s right. . .$11.7 billion — and we are considering spending ten times that on this military engagement.
— Steve Clemons