Cost of Coffman proposal to deploy troops in Iraq

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

American tanks in Baghdad, 2003.

American tanks in Baghdad, 2003.

It's amazing that Rep. Mike Coffman's call for the redeployment of troops in Iraq hasn't made news beyond this lowly blog, especially when you consider what's at stake, here at home.

The annual cost to deploy troops in Iraq is roughly $1 million per troop, according to former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag. (That's beyond the incalculable human cost.)

Using this as a baseline, and assuming Coffman would deploy between 5,000 and 50,000 troops, we're talking about spending between $5 billion and $50 billion per year on Iraq.

That’s a lot of money, if you compare it to other expenditures of the federal government. For example, the low end of Coffman’s range, $5 billion per year, is more than double what America currently spends on housing for military veterans.

For the amount spent if America kept 5,000 troops in Iraq for three years, the U.S. could more than double the EPA budget. The amount spent in one and a half years would be equal to what we spend on the National Science Foundation.

  • EPA budget is $13 billion,
  • National Science Foundation $7 billion,
  • NASA $17 billion,
  • Humanitarian foreign aid $22 billion,
  • Higher education $12 billion,
  • Veterans’ housing $2 billion;
  • Veterans’ hospital and medical care, $51 billion;
  • Veterans education, training and rehabilitation $10 billion

SOURCE: FY 2012 figures, Budget of the United States, Historical Tables, 4.1 and 3.2.

We don't know the precise number of troops Coffman would deploy in Iraq, but during a recent interview, Coffman said that if the Obama Administration hadn't rushed troops out of Iraq, then Iraq would have agreed to the Status of Forces Agreement, which initially envisioned a residual force of 10,000 troops, a figure that was later reduced to 5,000.

Coffman said he "certainly" favors deploying "advisory" troops, if invited, so that the U.S. would have "some influence" in Iraq.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    How about comparing to the cost of Udallcare, about 167 Billion a year.

    • dustpuppydustpuppy says:

      A.C., if you really love Coffmann's idea, why don't you go to the nearest military recruiting station, and enlist. 

      America needs more patriots!



      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Notice he didn't say whether he liked Coffman's idea or not. That would require a grasp of a certain amount of real world information, historic background and the effort of putting it all together via critical thinking.  He just said "Udallcare".  Not relevant as a critique of Coffman's proposal but so much easier and safer while waiting for the approved talking point response to permeate the Borg.  A perfectly serviceable, safe, place holder while awaiting instruction from spin central. Just like other popular change the subject no brainers such as  "Pelosi" or "Soros". Though I must say, "Udallcare" doesn't seem to have caught on in a big way like the others.

    • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

      Yup it's always so much easier for a winger to try to justify the cost of killing a bunch more people than in trying to assure they have access to good medical care.Here's a suggestion how about you go enlist – specify a combat arms MOS- then you might be able to participate in any reoccupation of Irak and your medical care,clothing, housing and cet.would be covered. This suggestion provided free of charge by a combat veteran of the military misadventure in southeast Asia.

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    My mistake, recent CBO number is $127 Billion a year.  What is 40 Billion between friends?

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Wow. I can smell the desperation. You've got so much nothing available to defend Coffman you have to use one of your Udall talking points on this Coffman thread. Thanks for making those of us who want to elect the first Dem ever to the CD6 feel that much better about our chances. More on Sinister Soros and Evil Witch Pelosi posts, please. Whenever I see one of those I figure you must know something I don't about Colorado Dem chances in 2014 and it must be something pretty great for Dems to make you desperate enough to reach for those old chestnuts. Really scary internal GOTP polling or are you just that hopelessly lame? As always, greetings to the Borg.devil

  3. ZappateroZappatero says:

    I sure hope AC gets a life sometime soon. Starting to feel bad for him. 

    Anyway, R's can always be for any war at all times and no one is surprised. 

    Democrats must be for most wars so they don't get called names, especially if they can't handle being called mean names by R's. 

    Anyone remember the "peace dividend" and think of what we might have done with it in our country the last 10-20 years as opposed to what we have done to other nations and their peoples?

  4. dwyer says:

    For $5 billion, you could fund the Peace Corps for over ten years.

  5. hawkeye says:

    Perhaps Coffman owns some Halliburton shares or stock with other defense contractors … 

  6. CaninesCanines says:

    Nobody ever said that the ideas of a Conservative Republican were going to come cheap.

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