US military operations in Iraq have so far cost approximately £337 million ($560 million), said Pentagon in a statement on Friday (29 August).
Pentagon's Press Secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, has said that the average daily cost of the Iraq war, including the airstrikes and surveillance flights, is around £4.5 million ($7.5 million).
The rising war costs are being paid from the Pentagon's 2014 overseas contingency fund, said Kirby.
However, if the war intensifies in Iraq, Pentagon officials said they will have to reassess next year's budget requests to Congress.
While US President Barack Obama has not confirmed whether the Iraq war will be extended to include Islamic State targets in Syria, critics are already fuming on the weighty bill for US taxpayers.
— Robert Greenwald (@robertgreenwald) August 29, 2014
Key Q re US Iraq policy: what will make US safer or more prosperous, and at what cost? Doing little/nothing looks good by this criterion.
— Stephen Walt (@stephenWalt) June 17, 2014
Iraq and Afghanistan cost us £20 BILLION. Learn from our mistakes. If we have money to kill people, we have money to help people. #bbcqt
— George Aylett (@georgeayl) May 15, 2014
Iraq War and the Human Factor
A CBS News/New York Times poll has revealed that only 18 per cent of Americans feel the outcome of the war in Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs involved in waging the Iraq war.
This was the lowest percentage recorded ever in CBS News polls.
While it's refreshing to see Pentagon release figures on the cost of the Iraq war, the wait has been long with 70 per cent of the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 been funded with emergency or "off the books" expenses –the Pentagon's ticket to unchecked spending.
And there are more dirty secrets to the Iraq war –Iraqi officials can't point out a single complete US project in Iraq during the course of the occupation.
"You can fly in a helicopter around Baghdad or other cities but you cannot point a finger at a single project that was built and completed by the United States," said Iraq's acting interior minister to Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction last year.
Some Twitterers are quick to point out other worthy ways of spending the billions of dollars lost in wars.
Fitting every home in the US with solar panels would cost less than the Iraq & Afghanistan wars combined, would save taxpayers 162b per year — Lex Looper (@lex_looper) April 25, 2014
But we don't have the $$ for food stamps... US operations in Iraq costing $7.5m a day as Obama deliberates strategy: http://t.co/1jIpQIfbWw
— Ⓐ #GrumpyCuntSec Ⓐ (@brazenqueer) August 29, 2014