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Cost of War Report - $1.2 Billion for WV...and Counting

August 15, 2007

The cash register keeps on ringing up military expenses. A report released today notes the latest tally of Iraq war costs for West Virginia taxpayers is more than $1.2 billion. Rick Wilson with the American Friends Service Committee says the war price tag nationally is at $456 billion.

"That's only what we've paid for so far, it doesn't include things that we're going to have to pay for in the future like care for veterans who've been wounded or hurt."

Wilson notes that domestic investments have been lacking to help pay for the war. The report suggests a modest shift in direction of some war money to congressionally-backed projects like children's health care, job training and education. President Bush has threatened to veto those plans.

Wilson believes that setting a certain date for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq would help save lives, about 3,700 American troops have been killed and tens of thousands more Iraqis. And, he points out that the move would free up resources to re-focus on investing at home.

"The war in Iraq has gone on longer than World War II has, at least as far as the United States is concerned. It's gone on longer than the American Civil War, and there's no end in sight."

The report is titled "Getting U.S. Back on Track," researched by the USAction Education Fund.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WV