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1/14/2005

War's Hidden Costs to Military

Boston Globe: A forthcoming request for additional funds to continue waging war in Iraq will not begin to address the "hidden cost" of the conflict, according to Pentagon officials and other government authorities who say that tens of billions of dollars more will eventually be needed to repair or replace heavily used equipment and to compensate for the wear and tear on members of the armed services.

The Pentagon next month plans to ask Congress for up to $100 billion in supplemental funds to pay for the ongoing combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total budgeted so far to well over $200 billion. But military officers say the administration's estimates do not include the investment that will be necessary to fix what they say they fear is becoming a broken ground force.
The administration's politically motivated practice of requesting war funding through supplementals, of minimizing public discussion of the cost of the war, causes it to "not account for the need to fund readiness for future missions." An "Army briefing estimates that in fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007, more than $35 billion could be needed to pay for backlogged equipment maintenance, battle losses, and to replace dwindling stocks prepositioned in the Persian Gulf."

 

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