Saturday, January 20, 2007

Costs of Iraq war soar: 8.4 billion a month

While so called entitlement programs such as medicare-and also the medical and disability benefits of the five hundred plus amputees mentioned in a previous article- are regarded as a danger to the economy the cost of the military budget and illegal wars are ignored.

Pentagon sees U.S. war cost in Iraq rising
Thu 18 Jan 2007 23:35:17 GMT
By Richard CowanWASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The steadily rising Iraq war price tag will reach about $8.4 billion a month this year, Pentagon spokesmen said on Thursday, as heavy replacement costs for lost, destroyed and aging equipment mount.The Pentagon has been estimating last year's costs for the increasingly unpopular war at about $8 billion a month, having increased from a monthly "burn rate" of around $4.4 billion during the first year of fighting in fiscal 2003.During testimony at a House Budget Committee hearing, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said that nearly four years into the war, the Pentagon's war costs were rising because it was having to replace big-ticket items such as helicopters, airplanes and armored vehicles that are wearing out or were lost in combat."We have a backlog and are seeing an increase," England told the panel.When factoring in U.S. combat costs in Afghanistan, the Pentagon will spend about $9.7 billion a month during the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30, according to Pentagon spokesmen.Early next month, the administration is expected to ask Congress for a further $100 billion in "emergency" war money, on top of the $70 billion already approved for this year. The request comes as President George W. Bush has sketched out an increase of 21,500 U.S. troops in Iraq that could cost about $5.6 billion.House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, a South Carolina Democrat, said he hoped Congress could avoid recurring emergency funding bills for the war. "We would like to get a better grasp of the cost of the Iraq war and the global war on terrorism -- a way of accounting of costs to date and projecting costs to come."Since fiscal 2001, Congress has approved $503 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other aspects of the U.S. "global war on terrorism," according to Congressional Budget Office testimony. Of that, $344 billion has gone for military, diplomatic and other security costs in Iraq, the CBO said.Most of the funds have been provided on an emergency basis, outside regular budget procedures. Critics say that obscures the true cost of the war and results in less congressional oversight.'RESIDUAL TALE'Democrats won control of Congress in elections last November due largely to the Iraq war's unpopularity. England said the financial burden of the conflict would persist for some time.He said even after the war ends, and he did not estimate when that would be, there would be two years of a "residual tail" of costs for rebuilding the military.Democrats and Republicans on the budget panel grilled England on whether the Pentagon was slipping money for expensive, nonemergency projects into the emergency war funds requests.Specifically, they inquired about reports Bush would ask for money to pay for two "Joint Strike Fighter" airplanes that are several years from being ready for combat, along with money for ballistic missiles and Navy aircraft repairs and procurement that is unrelated to Iraq combat.England would not comment specifically on the upcoming request for emergency war money. But he said that when equipment was lost in Iraq, it was not replaced with "something old," but with new equipment.Democrats have promised tougher oversight of defense spending, while challenging Bush's plans to broaden the American war effort in Iraq.

1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

USA Today reported on 16 January 2007 in its Washington Section that the CIA plans to utilize more open sources and blogs in its intelligence work and outsource more of its intelligence software development to commercial contractors in an attempt to re-establish itself as the premiere world intelligence agency.

The "Strategic Intent" is posted on the CIA public web site. Defense Industry Daily further reports that General Electric is gobbling up Smith's Industries for $4.8B.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2007/01/ge-buys-smiths-aerospace-for-48b/index.php

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. Let's look at this for a moment and do our patriotic duty by reading along with the CIA (after all, they have announced they are reading this blog)

1. The new CIA approach comes exactly at the formation of the agency’s new "External Advisory Board", which consists of the following:

* A former Pentagon Chairman of the Joints Chief who is now a Northrop Grumman Corporation Board Member

* A deposed Chairman of the Board of Hewlett Packard Corporation (HP)

* A Former Deputy Secretary of Defense who now heads up a Washington think tank with Henry Kissinger

2. Northrop Grumman Corporation and Hewlett Packard are two huge government contractors in the Pentagon and CIA custom software development arena. Their combined contracts with the government just for IT are in the multiples of millions. I wonder what the advisory board is filling the CIA's ear with?

3. Washington "Think Tanks" are fronts for big time lobbies, sophisticated in their operations, claiming non-partisanship, but tremendously influential on K Street. If a lobby cannot buy its way in, why not sit on the advisory board?

4. GE already has the military aircraft jet engine market. In buying Smith's, it takes one more major defense corporation out of the opposition and further reduces the government's leverage through competition. GE now joins the other monoliths such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon with tremendous leverage in the $500B +++ per year defense market.

5. Note the synergy that now exists between the Pentagon and the CIA. Note the influence by the major corporations.

6. Also note the balance in your bank account and your aspirations for the generations of the future. Both are going down.

7. The huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) continues to march. Taxes and national debt will be forced to march straight up the wall to support it. Do you have any "Intelligence” to offer the Pentagon, the CIA and the MIC? For further inspiration please see:

http://www.rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com