Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com – 2013-05-21 01:13:44
Pentagon Seeks Another $79 Billion for Afghan War
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 20, 2013) — Pentagon officials have submitted a new request for another $79.4 billion for “overseas contingency operations,” essentially to pay for the 2014 fighting of the Afghan War. The request is above and beyond the $526 billion the Pentagon is already seeking for 2014, which was supposed to include the war’s costs.
Requests for supplemental war funds are nothing new for the Pentagon, but the latest request comes in the context of a growing budget crisis in Afghanistan, with the 2013 “contingency funds” already burned through as costs continue to soar.
The Pentagon’s estimates for their costs have been much too low, as the “success” that is always supposed to be just around the corner in Afghanistan never pans out, and officials conceded in recent comments that the costs of the war may continue to rise “substantially” going forward.
Officials are bragging that the 2014 request is somewhat less than the 2013 version, but the reality is that with surge troops being withdrawn, the savings were supposed to be significant. Instead, the war continues as an all-consuming sinkhole for tax money, with no end in sight and the Pentagon’s best estimates inevitably falling far short.
Pentagon in Afghan Budget Crisis, Seeks to Shift $10 Billion in Funds
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(May 17, 2013) — The Pentagon has announced today that it is seeking Congressional approval for a “shift” of $9.6 billion in approved spending, with most of the changes going to cope with the increased costs of the Afghan War.
The Pentagon has reportedly already been shifting money into the various “contingency funds” related to the war, but it convinced it will rapidly exceed the $7.5 billion cap on such transfers as the crisis worsens. Beyond this level they would need Congress to sign off.
Recent reports have indicated that the Pentagon’s “placeholder” estimates for Afghan War costs in upcoming years are much higher than expected, and Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale has warned the costs may continue to rise “substantially.”
Though the per year appropriations for Afghanistan are still down from the levels spent at the peak of the surge, but previous estimates of savings from the drawdown have not panned out nearly to the level expected, with analysts saying that the military has yet to fully explain why the war is still so costly.
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