The U.S. war in Iraq now costs more per month than the average monthly cost of military operations in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, according to a report issued Wednesday by two antiwar organizations.
The report from the liberal groups, the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy in Focus, puts the cost of current operations in Iraq at $5.6 billion per month -- about $186 million a day.
“By comparison, the average cost of U.S. operations in Vietnam over the eight-year war was $5.1 billion per month, adjusting for inflation,” it says.
As a proportion of gross domestic product, the Vietnam War was more significant, costing 12% of annual GDP, compared with 2% for the Iraq war. However, economists said the Iraq war might nearly double the projected federal budget deficit in the next decade.
Congress has approved four spending bills for Iraq so far for a total of $204.4 billion and is expected soon to authorize an additional $45.3 billion.
“Broken down per person in the United States, the cost so far is $727, making the Iraq war the most expensive military effort in the past 60 years,” authors Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver wrote.