‘US wars could cost 2.4 trillion dollars by 2017’

CBO director Peter Orszag
Washington, Oct 25 : The total cost of the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and anti-terrorism efforts abroad could cost the US 2.4 trillion dollars by 2017, a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said.

CBO director Peter Orszag, said the "bottom line" figure of war spending would be 2.4 trillion dollars under most intense scenarios of military activity, if future costs were not offset by higher taxes or lower spending.

"That is the highest number that is contained in our testimony, I don't know whether it is a worst case scenario," he told the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

Orszag said that over 70 per cent of the funds would go to support operations in Iraq, including the estimated 600 billion dollars spent since 2001.

The 2.4 trillion dollars would pay to keep 75,000 troops deployed overseas from 2013 to 2017. It works out to about 21,500 dollars per American household. Without interest, the war efforts are projected to cost about 1.7 trillion dollars, he added.

Committee Chairman John Spratt said costs of the wars, which the Bush Administration styles as twin fronts of the "war on terror", were huge and rising.

The CBO, which provides non-partisan budget analysis for the Congress, said higher estimates for spending for the wars could start at 1.2 trillion dollars and top out at 1.7 trillion dollars by the end of 2017.

The estimate added a new note of rancour to the US political debate over Iraq, two days after President George W Bush requested nearly 200 billion dollars more in emergency war funding.

For the first time, the estimates included the huge costs of financing government borrowing used to finance the wars, ABC News reported. (ANI)

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