Bottomless Pockets For War While The Space Program Ends And Granny Eats Friskies
The spending is massive, and the estimates eye-popping; yet it’s almost impossible to pin down just what the U.S. military spends on war.
"WASHINGTON -- When congressional cost-cutters meet later this year to decide on trimming the federal budget, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could represent juicy targets. But how much do the wars actually cost the U.S. taxpayer?
Nobody really knows.
Yes, Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department. There are long Pentagon spreadsheets that outline how much of that was spent on personnel, transportation, fuel and other costs. In a recent speech, President Barack Obama assigned the wars a $1 trillion price tag.
But all those numbers are incomplete. Besides what Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2 trillion base budget over that same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American."
"In Afghanistan, for example, the U.S. military spent $1.5 billion to purchase 329.8 million gallons of fuel for vehicles, aircraft and generators from October 2010 to May 2011. That’s a not-unheard-of $4.55 per gallon, but it doesn’t include the cost of getting the fuel to combat zones and the human cost of transporting it through hostile areas, which can hike the cost to hundreds of dollars a gallon.
Just getting air-conditioning to troops in Afghanistan, including transport and maintenance, costs $20 billion per year, retired Brig. Gen. Steve Anderson told National Public Radio recently. That’s half the amount that the federal government has spent on Amtrak over 40 years."