WASHINGTON — The war in Iraq has cost $291 billion so far and would total almost half a trillion dollars even if all U.S. troops were withdrawn by the end of 2009, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Thursday.
The nonpartisan CBO analysis comes after congressional debate over whether to set goals or timetables for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. Congress declined to set a timetable, but the Pentagon hopes to start drawing down forces by the end of the year.
The CBO study estimated future appropriations based on two scenarios provided by Rep. John Spratt Jr. (D-S.C.), who commissioned the report.
The more optimistic scenario is based on the U.S. maintaining troop levels in Iraq at 140,000 through next year, but quickly dropping them thereafter and pulling out most of them by the end of 2009. Under this schedule, the Iraq war would cost an additional $184 billion for the 2007-2010 budget years.