The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Publication Date: September 2010

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Military and defense

Type: Report

Coverage: Iraq Afghanistan


With enactment of FY2007 appropriations, Congress has approved a total of about $510 billion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans' health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) covering Afghanistan and other counter terror operations, Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) providing enhanced security at military bases, and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Iraq.

The $510 billion total includes the $70 billion in DOD's regular FY2007 bill intended to bridge the gap between the first part of the fiscal year and passage of a supplemental as well as war-related appropriations for other agencies included in the FY2007 Continuing Resolution (H.J.Res 20/P.L.110-5).

Of the $510 billion appropriated thus far, CRS estimates that Iraq will receive about $378 billion (74%), OEF about $99 billion (19%), enhanced base security about $28 billion (5%) with about $5 billion that CRS cannot allocate (1%). Generally, about 90% of these funds are for DOD, about 7% for foreign aid programs and embassy operations, less than 1% for medical care for veterans, and 1% unallocated. DOD has not provided Congress with the cost of each operation for all previously appropriated funds.

On February 5, 2007, the Defense Department submitted a $94.4 billion FY2007 Supplemental request. If enacted, DOD's total emergency funding for FY2007 would be $163.4 billion or 40% more than the previous year and 50% more than OMB estimated last summer. The Administration also requested about $3 billion for Iraq and $1 billion for Afghanistan in emergency foreign and diplomatic operations funds. If the FY2007 Supplemental request is approved, total war-related funding would reach about $607 billion including about $448 billion for Iraq, $126 billion for Afghanistan, $28 billion for enhanced security and $5 billion unallocated.

For FY2008, DOD requested $481.4 billion for its regular or baseline budget and $141.7 billion for war costs. If Congress approves both the FY2007 and FY2008 war requests, total funding for Iraq and the Global War on Terror would reach about $752 billion, including about $564 billion for Iraq, $155 billion for Afghanistan, $28 billion for enhanced security, and $5 billion unallocated.

Based on new data, CRS lowered its estimates for DOD's average monthly obligations for contracts and pay to $8.8 billion per month including about $7.4 billion for OIF, $1.4 billion for OEF. DOD reports that in FY2007 so far, spending rose to $10 billion per month including $8.6 billion for Iraq and $1.4 billion for OEF.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that additional war costs for the next ten years could total about $472 billion if troop levels fall to 30,000 by 2010 or $919 billion if troop levels fall to 70,000 by about 2013. If these estimates are added to already appropriated amounts, total funding for Iraq and the GWOT could reach from about $980 billion to $1.4 trillion by 2017. This report will be updated as warranted.