U.S./NATO Occupied Afghanistan
- U.S./NATO Occupied Afghanistan: 1) (CBC) "Cost
of Afghan mission double Conservative estimate";
2) (PV) "Afghan War Will Cost CDN. Taxpayers $22
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1) Yahoo News, via
The Canadian Broadcating Corporation
http://ca.news yahoo.com/ s/cbc
Oct. 9, 2008
http://ca.news yahoo.com/ s/cbc/081008/ canada/canada_ afghanistan_ costreport
Cost of Afghan mission double
Conservative estimate: report
2 hours, 12 minutes ago
The cost of Canada's mission in Afghanistan, slated for release
on Thursday, could be more than double what the Conservative
government has estimated, according to an Ottawa think tank.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has previously
estimated that the total cost to date of Canada's mission,
which began in 2002, is under $8 billion.
That's less than half the $17.2 billion that the Rideau Institute
predicted in a study entitled The Cost of the War and the End
of Peacekeeping, which was released Wednesday. The institute's
tally includes the cost of ammunition, equipment, military salaries,
health care, disability and death benefits and economic aid
The institute said Canadians can expect another $11.1 billion to
be spent between now and 2011, which is the date the
Conservative government has pledged to withdraw most of
Canada's military forces from combat duties in Afghanistan.
"It's clear that the government's budgetary and foreign policy
hands will be tied if it intends to keep our troops in Afghanistan
through December 2011," said Steven Staples, president of the
A report by Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, entitled
The Fiscal Impact of the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan,
will be made public Thursday morning.
While the report has been ready for weeks, its release required
the support of all party leaders. They, as well as Harper, gave
their blessings last month - despite concerns it could sway how
Canadians cast their ballots in the federal election on Oct. 14.
Public opinion surveys have repeatedly shown that Canadians
- especially voters in the key electoral battleground of Quebec
- are lukewarm to the mission.
The Rideau study also predicted additional costs of up to
$7.6 billion, once factors such as health care, disability and death
benefits for wounded or killed soldiers are taken into account,
bringing the eventual total to more than $28 billion by 2011.
Page has already said his report will consider the costs of veterans
programs, while he is also expected to factor in more traditional
spending points such as military salaries and equipment purchases.
Canada has about 2,500 troops in Afghanistan' s volatile province
The mission started in early 2002, shortly after the U.S.-led invasion
that toppled the Taliban government, although some Canadian
soldiers on exchange with the American military were in Afghanistan
To date, 98 Canadians, including one diplomat, have lost their lives
serving in the conflict.
The institute study's co-author, David Macdonald, said the Defence
Department has reduced its United Nations peacekeeping
contributions by more than 80 per cent since the Afghan mission
began, to $15.6 million in 2008-09 from $94.1 million in 2000-01.
Staples said "the cost of the war in Afghanistan has essentially
resulted in the abandonment of Canada's 50-year commitment
to UN peacekeeping. "
The study also found that about 167 Canadian soldiers and police
officers were deployed on peacekeeping missions as of July of
this year, ranking Canada 53rd of 119 contributing nations.
With files from the Canadian Press
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2) People's Voice (Vancouver, Canada)
Oct. 1 to 15 2008 issue
http://www.peoplesv oice.ca/Pv01oc08 .html#4_AFGHAN_ WAR_WILL_ COST_TAXPAYERS_ 22
AFGHAN WAR WILL COST TAXPAYERS
PV Vancouver Bureau - The Afghan war will ultimately end up
costing Canadian taxpayers over $22 billion, or about $700 per
person. The figures are contained in an upcoming study by David
Perry, a former deputy director of Dalhousie University's Centre
for Foreign Policy Studies. The study will appear in the
International Journal, published by the Canadian International
Canwest News Service reports that some of Perry's findings
were discussed at a Sept. 16 conference attended by military
leaders and analysts from Canada, the U.S. and several
In an interview with Canwest, Perry said he was not surprised
at the numbers, since "We're fighting a war on the other side of
the world and that takes a lot of resources."
The breakdown includes:
* $7 billion for the incremental cost of the war from late 2001 to
2012, everything from ammunition and fuel to the salaries of
reservists and contractors.
* $11 billion for long-term health care of Afghan war veterans
and related benefits, as well as dealing with post-traumatic
stress disorder among troops.
* $2 billion to purchase mission-specific equipment, such as
Leopard tanks, howitzers, counter-mine vehicles to aerial drones
and six Chinook helicopters. Defence officials argue that such
equipment will be used on future missions beyond Afghanistan.
The figure didn't include the latest $95 million lease for
additional aerial drones.
* $2 billion for the replacement of the military's LAV-3 fleet.
"This fleet is going to be worn out pretty soon from the wear
and tear of Afghanistan and will have to be replaced," said
* $405 million for repair and overhaul costs.
Perry's study finds that the Liberal government had provided
extra funding to the Defence Department to cover 85 per cent
of the Afghan war costs. The Conservatives, however, are
funding only 29 per cent of the cost to the Defence Department
for the war, with the remaining money coming out of DND's
Last January, the head of the army, Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie,
warned that the service was stretched almost to the breaking
point and replacement stocks of equipment for Afghanistan
have long been used up, either destroyed by the enemy or in
the process of being repaired. Leslie warned that much of the
service's combat vehicle fleet is in need of repair, the result of
operating in the harsh Afghan terrain or from excessive use in
training in Canada for the war.
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