Estimating Funding for Afghanistan

The deployment of additional troops to Afghanistan over the coming months will require additional funding in Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10). It is difficult to precisely estimate the cost that will be incurred by the deployment due to a variety of factors including the composition of the forces deployed and the specific mission they are given. The adversary also has a say in determining the operational tempo of our forces, and thus the costs incurred in terms of such items as fuel, ammunition, and equipment. Still, historical trends in the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can provide a useful guide for making such an estimate.

Cost Per Troop:

The table below lists the budget authority and average number of troops deployed by fiscal year for operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. For both wars, there is a fairly strong correlation between budget authority and number of troops deployed. This suggests that while there are many other factors at play in determining costs, including fixed costs for bases and other infrastructure items, a driving factor is the  umber of troops deployed.

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