Wars for Israel costing an estimated $21,500 per American household

Cost of ‘War on Terror’ could rise to $2.4 trillion

By Steve Hargreaves

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and anti terrorist efforts abroad could cost the country $2.4 trillion over the next ten years, according to a report Wednesday.

The money, over 70 percent of which would go to support operations in Iraq, includes the estimated $600 billion spent since 2001, Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag said in testimony before the House Budget Committee. That estimate includes projected interest, since the government is borrowing most of the funds required.

The $2.4 trillion would pay to keep 75,000 troops deployed overseas from 2013 to 2017. About 210,000 troops are currently deployed. It does not include the Pentagon’s normal spending, which in 2007 is estimated to be about $450 billion.

The estimated $2.4 trillion works out to about $21,500 per American household.

Without interest, the war efforts are projected to cost about $1.7 trillion. Several lawmakers noted the wide gap.

“This entire war has been paid for with a government credit card,” one lawmaker said.

The CBO also prepared another estimate, this one reducing the number of troops overseas to 30,000 beginning in 2010 and not relying on borrowed funds.

Under that scenario the wars are expected to cost about $1.2 trillion.

In the runup to the Iraq war in 2003, Bush administration officials said that forcibly changing regimes in Iraq should cost somewhere around $50 billion, and would be financed mostly through selling Iraqi oil.

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