Pentagon: War On Terror Bill Nears 1.5 Trillion And Counting


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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

Pentagon war related costs are nearing $1.5 trillion since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a new Department of Defense (DOD) report current to June 30 reveals.

The costliest efforts predictably were the past large scale U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2015, compromising 90 percent of total funds spent. The U.S. presence in Iraq between 2003 and 2011 alone cost approximately $730 billion with the 2001-2015 presence in Afghanistan total coming to nearly $600 billion.

Ongoing U.S. efforts against the Islamic State known as Operation Inherent Resolve average a cost of approximately $600 million a month. The U.S. effort in Afghanistan to support the Afghan National Security Forces in the fight against the Taliban similarly draws nearly $3.2 billion each month.

Pentagon dollars spent in Afghanistan are likely to substantially increase after the President Donald Trump authorized the deployment of an additional 3,000 additional forces the country. Trump pledged to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan until conditions on the ground merited withdrawal. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also changed rules of engagement in Afghanistan to increase offensive operations against Taliban militants.

The report clarified that the money detailed is spent in three broad categories

    • War-related operational costs, such as operational tempo, training, overseas facilities and base support, equipment maintenance, and communications, and replacement of combat losses and enhancements.
    • Support for deployed troops, which includes food, clothing, and health/medical services, special pay and benefits for troops in the field.
    • Transportation of personnel and equipment, including airlift and sealift into and out of the theater of operations, and support payments for the [Afghan National Security Forces] and coalition partners.

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