Iraq & Afghanistan: Army equipment costs to triple


Richard Moore

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Wars force Army equipment costs to triple
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jun 26, 7:57 PM ET

The annual cost of replacing, repairing and upgrading Army equipment in Iraq and
Afghanistan is expected to more than triple next year to more than $17 billion, 
according to Army documents obtained by the Associated Press.

From 2002 to 2006, the Army spent an average of $4 billion a year in annual 
equipment costs. But as the war takes a harder toll on the military, that number
is projected to balloon to more than $12 billion for the federal budget year 
that starts next Oct. 1, the documents show.

The $17 billion also includes an additional $5 billion in equipment expenses 
that the Army requested in previous years but has not yet been provided.

The latest costs include the transfer of more than 1,200 2 1/2-ton trucks, 
nearly 1,100 Humvees and $8.8 million in other equipment from the U.S. Army to 
the Iraqi security forces.

Army and Marine Corps leaders are expected to testify before Congress Tuesday 
and outline the growing costs of the war ‹ with estimates that it will cost 
between $12 billion and $13 billion a year for equipment repairs, upgrades and 
replacements from now on.

The Marine Corps has said in recent testimony before Congress that it would need
nearly $12 billion to replace and repair all the equipment worn out or lost to 
combat in the past four years. So far, the Marines have received $1.6 billion 
toward those costs to replace and repair the equipment.

According to the Army, the $17 billion includes:

_$2.1 billion in equipment that must be replaced because of battle losses.

_About $6.5 billion for repairs.
_About $8.4 billion to rebuild or upgrade equipment.

One of the growing costs is the replacement of Humvees, which are wearing out 
more quickly because of the added armor they are carrying to protect soldiers 
from roadside bombs. The added weight is causing them to wear out faster, 
decreasing the life of the vehicles.

Congress has provided about $21 billion for equipment costs in emergency 
supplemental budget bills from 2002-06. All the war equipment expenses have been
funded through those emergency bills, and not in the regular fiscal-year 

Pentagon officials have estimated that such emergency bills would have to 
continue two years beyond the time the U.S. pulls out of Iraq in order to fully 
replace, repair and rebuild all of the needed equipment.

The push for additional equipment funding comes after the House last week passed
a $427 billion defense spending bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, which
includes $50 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A separate
$66 billion emergency funding bill for the two wars was approved earlier in the 

War-related costs since 2001 are approaching half a trillion dollars.
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Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Inc.

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