Thursday, February 26, 2009

Govt: Cost of Afghan mission could reach 11.3 billion

This estimate is actually below another estimate that was over 18 billion or 1500 dollars per Canadian household. This present estimate does not include long term medical expenses. The long term health care costs are not included in this estimate because they are difficult to account for. This is an interesting excuse. Obviously if you want to have a lower estimate leave out whatever is difficult to account for!
Added to the monetary costs are the lives lost as well as the loss of quality of life for the wounded. However on the plus side one has a great stimulus package for the military-industrial complex.

Cost of Afghanistan mission could reach $11.3B, government says
Last Updated: Thursday, February 26, 2009 5:15 PM ET CBC News
The Canadian combat mission in Afghanistan could cost taxpayers around $11.3 billion by the time it ends in 2011, according to a new government estimate.
But the report, posted on the government website Canada’s Engagement in Afghanistan, suggests that the 10-year cost estimate for the mission could change, depending on the circumstances.
“Afghanistan is an enormously complex and challenging mission. Operations are constantly changing and adapting to the security situation on the ground,” the report states. “As such, cost estimates are constantly refined and adjusted to reflect this changing reality.”
Around $9 billion of the costs are Defence Department-related and include expenses for personnel, equipment, supplies, maintaining bases and medical needs.
The report also lays out $2.3 billion of mission expenses in other departments, including $1.7 billion for the Canadian International Development Agency, $400 million for the Foreign Affairs Department and $150 million for Veterans Affairs Canada.
Long-term health-care costs are not included because they are more difficult to account for, as health-care issues can be the consequence of cumulative mission experiences, the report says.
In October, parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page offered different estimates, saying the mission costs could reach as high as $18.1 billion, or $1,500 per Canadian household.
Page reported that Canada had spent $7.7 billion to $10.5 billion on costs related to the mission in the past six years, and could spend $13.9 billion to $18.1 billion by the end of the 2010-11 budget year.
Page's report also said a lack of government consistency and transparency made it difficult to come up with estimates, and the figures likely understate the full costs of the mission.
Canadian special forces troops were on the ground in Afghanistan in late 2001 and the country has maintained a full battle group in Kandahar since early 2006.
Currently 2,850 soldiers, aircrew and support staff are officially in the war theatre, but temporary-duty assignments add to that total.
Since the mission began, 108 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died as part of the mission, while roughly 375 troops have been wounded.With files from the Canadian Press

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