Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Iraq to get worse?

From Reuters, word that the administration is expecting things to get worse in Iraq:
The decision to use the $25 billion in Iraq reserves underscores concern within the administration about the rise in anti-American violence in Iraq.

[...]

Congressional aides and defense analysts said the use of the reserve funds could be an early sign that the Pentagon will run out of money sooner than the White House had expected.

Bush has so far spent $120 billion in Iraq, not including the $25 billion contingency fund, and officials said he could seek another $50 billion in February.

With the rate of spending in Iraq already at more than $1 billion a week, the Pentagon may not have enough money to "get past Christmas," let alone wait until February, said John Pike, a defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.org. He said the White House could need closer to $75 billion next year.

[...]

Before the invasion, then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels predicted Iraq would be "an affordable endeavor," and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz even assured Congress: "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."

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