Thursday, February 26, 2009

Government: Afghan mission incremental costs $11.3 billion

Lower than some have suggested:
Canadians can expect a $11.3-billion pricetag once the government wraps up its decade-long effort in Afghanistan, the Department of National Defence says.

In a newly released accounting, the federal government said that DND estimates a 10-year pricetag of $9-billion while other departments including the international development agency, foreign affairs and veteran's affairs will be on the hook for $2.3-billion.

The estimated costs do not include the costs of disability and healthcare for veterans once the mission is finished, something that parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page factored in when he calculated total costs in 2011 at $18.1-billion [No! That was an upper limit].

Page's report, released in the final days of last fall's federal election, suggested up to 7,000 Canadian soldiers who have passed through the war torn country could make disability or healthcare claims.

This is the first time that the federal government has released a total estimated cost of the Afghan effort, which Canada has been engaged in since 2001.

The Tories had previously pegged costs at about $8-billion.

The new information from DND was tied to the release yesterday of estimated spending for 2009-10, in which total spending on Afghanistan is projected to run to $1.9-billion.

The estimates point to a new civilian push in Afghanistan, but also more controversy around the execution of the mission. There is an extra $4.1-million to put 50 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in Kandahar in the coming year to help train the country's rag-tag police forces [a Good Thing, no?]...
Just for comparison, DND's 2008-2009 expenditures have been put at $18,293,756. Not that an expensive mission for the government as a whole, over ten years, in my view.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you define incremental ?

Is it the amount above & beyond what it would have cost to have these troops & equipment sitting in Canada doing other things ?

4:21 p.m., February 27, 2009  

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