Tuesday Jun 19, 201201:37 PM GMT
US to raise Iraq, Afghan wars budget
The US House of Representatives
The US House of Representatives
Thu Dec 9, 2010 7:48AM
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The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that includes a nearly $160 billion budget for the country's war in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2011.


The figure reflects a $31 billion hike in the country's military budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which is reportedly $128 billion. Now the official cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for almost the past decade has surpassed $1.1 trillion.

The bill needs to be passed by the Senate and then signed by US President Barack Obama to take effect, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

According to analysts, however, the bill may undergo some modifications in the Senate.

The United States officially announced that it ended its combat mission in Iraq at the end of August, but carried out several military operations after the date.

Following the announcement, Washington withdrew most of its troops from the Iraqi soil after seven years of military presence in the country, leaving some 50,000 American soldiers for what it has described as "training and advising" purposes.

In 2006, a study conducted by the British medical journal The Lancet, revealed that 655,000 Iraqis lost their lives in the US-led war. The Opinion Research Business (ORB)'s study, however, put the number of post-invasion deaths at over 1 million.

As of February 2010, the Pentagon has spent nearly $704 billion in Iraq, based on estimates of current expenditure rates that range from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) estimate of $2 billion per week to the $12-billion-a-month figure estimated by economists.

Based on US military official figures, 4,404 US soldiers have been killed and 31,827 others wounded in action in war-torn Iraq as of May 28, 2010. Total coalition military deaths are put at 4,568 bodies.

The war in Afghanistan has also resulted in over 2,100 coalition casualties, including over 1,400 American deaths. The US currently has about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. The total number of coalition forces in the country reaches 150,000.

The monthly cost of the war in Afghanistan, driven by troop increases and fighting on difficult terrain, has topped Iraq costs for the first time since 2003 and shows no sign of letting up.

Pentagon spending in February, the most recent month available, was $6.7 billion in Afghanistan, compared with $5.5 billion spent in Iraq. As recently as fiscal year 2008, the US military spending in Iraq was three times higher than in Afghanistan. The Iraq war expenditure in 2009 was twice as costly as the Afghan war.

ASH/RZS/MB/HRF
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