Friday, January 14, 2005

War's 'hidden cost' called heavy

War's 'hidden cost' called heavy
Billions eyed to replenish forces
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff  |  January 14, 2005
WASHINGTON -- A forthcoming request for additional funds to continue waging war in Iraq will not begin to address the "hidden cost" of the conflict, according to Pentagon officials and other government authorities who say that tens of billions of dollars more will eventually be needed to repair or replace heavily used equipment and to compensate for the wear and tear on members of the armed services.
The Pentagon next month plans to ask Congress for up to $100 billion in supplemental funds to pay for the ongoing combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the total budgeted so far to well over $200 billion. But military officers say the administration's estimates do not include the investment that will be necessary to fix what they say they fear is becoming a broken ground force.
"We're going to be paying for this war for years to come," Representative Martin T. Meehan, a Lowell Democrat and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said by telephone yesterday from the Middle East, where he has been touring US military bases in Iraq. "We are not preparing for much of the cost."...