December 10th, 2009
08:15 PM ET

The cost of war

Even as Gen. Stanley McChrystal wrapped up his week of Congressional testimony on Thursday, questions are still swirling about the cost. Why is it so expensive to send U.S. troops to Afghanistan? The White House estimates the cost to be about $1 million per deployed troop.

The overall Pentagon budget for fiscal 2010 is some $660 billion. Many, though, estimate the intensified war in Afghanistan will drive costs even higher. Former assistant defense secretary Lawrence Korb notes thousands of extra troops were deployed to Afghanistan earlier this year.

"So, this is another 30,000," says Korb, now with the Center for American Progress. "Neither of those were anticipated. Defense spending for fiscal year 2010 will be close to $750 billion, which is about the same size as the stimulus package."

But when will the final figure be released and how will President Obama approach Congress to approve the money? Watch's report: Afghanistan's high price tag

Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan
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