PoliGraph: McCollum’s right on cost of war

President Obama on Wednesday outlined his plans to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

Here’s how Rep. Betty McCollum responded to Obama’s proposal to bring home some of the 33,000 troops he sent there in 2009.

“It is time for the U.S. to bring our troops home and limit the more than $2 billion per week being spent on this war while we face a serious fiscal crisis at home,” she said in a June 23, 2011 press release. “After 10 years of service and sacrifice from American troops and a $400 billion investment by U.S. taxpayer dollars, the people of Afghanistan need to take control of their destiny and demonstrate to the world they can stand on their own.”

McCollum’s right: The war is costing a lot of money.

The Evidence

About $113 billion will be spent on Afghanistan operations in fiscal year 2011, or, about $2.4 billion each week, according to a Congressional Research Services report.

The U.S. hasn’t always spent that much money in Afghanistan. In fiscal year 2003, the U.S. spent $306 million. In 2009, when Obama sent in more troops, the costs soared. .

On the second part of her claim, McCollum’s estimate is a bit low. The U.S. has spent around $444 billionon Afghanistan war, which began right after 9/11. That includes funding for war operations, diplomatic efforts and the medical care for war vets, according to the same CRS report.

The Verdict

McCollum’s claim is right. She gets an accurate.


Rep. Betty McCollum, Congresswoman Betty McCollum Responds to President Obama’s Plan to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Afghanistan, June 23, 2011

The White House, Remarks by the President on the Way Forward in Afghanistan, June 22, 2011

CNN, Obama announces Afghanistan troop withdrawal plan, June 22, 2011

The Congressional Research Service, The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other

Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11, by Amy Belasco, March 29, 2011

The Christian Science Monitor, Afghanistan troop drawdown: why Congress doesn’t like it, by Gail Russell Chaddock, June 23, 2011

Interview, Maria Reppas, spokeswoman, Rep. Betty McCollum, June 23, 2011

  • steve law

    She gets an accurate? (An “A” for accuracy?)