2 May 2011
Department of Defense Spending since 2001
Since the enactment of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in 2001, the US has set aside appropriations in excess of $1.121 trillion dollars for military operations, base security and reconstruction, foreign aid, and veterans’ health care. The primary three operations we have been involved with since 2001 include Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The Congressional Research Service estimates that of that $1.121 trillion dollars, Iraq will receive about $751 billion dollars (67%), OEF $336 billion dollars (30%), and enhanced base security totaling $29 billion dollars (3%). Last year, Department of Defense spending decreased in Iraq by twenty-five percent while spending in Afghanistan rose by sixty-three percent. This was a result of a shift in focus and troop strength in Iraq and Afghanistan causing the numbers of boots on the ground in Iraq to fall to 50,000 while troop strength in Afghanistan rose to 98,000 with the new deployments. This number is still growing with the 2011 war request fund and if approved, the additional amounts would push the total from $1.21 trillion dollars to over $1.3 trillion dollars. It has been ten years of continuing operations and although troops are being withdrawn from Iraq and increased in Afghanistan there still stands the concern for the cost of war and what effect it could have on the US in the long-run once operations cease.
More specifically, what are these billions of dollars being used for and how efficiently is the money being spent? A majority of the appropriation goes to funding “incremental war-related costs or costs in addition to the Department of Defense’s normal peacetime activities.” These include:
* “Military personnel funds to provide special pay for deployed personnel such as hostile fire or separation pay and to cover the additional cost... [continues]
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