It was long predicted that the war on ISIS will be one costly affair. Latest reports reaffirmed this, as with escalating cost of war, United States President Barack Obama is forced to borrow an additional $3.2 billion to continue the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).
President Obama will take a call in this regard in consultation with his lawmakers. The additional fund will not just help the US-led coalition continue its war against ISIS, the funds will also help US to train and arm Baghdad government forces, defence officials told AFP.
The funds will help cover the cost of replacing bombs in the weeks-long US-led air war against ISIS jihadists and assistance for Iraqi army troops and Kurdish forces battling the ISIS on the ground, two defence officials told AFP.
According to independent analysts, the air war in Syria and Iraq , which commanders say could last for years, could cost several billions of dollars annually. Gordon Adams, a military analyst at the American University, told The Fiscal Times that the war against ISIS will cost $15 billion to $20 billion annually, based on his "back of the envelope" calculations.
Independent analysts claim that the price would go even higher if the full costs of the air operations on ISIS are taken into account, particularly numerous flights by sophisticated surveillance aircraft and thousands of sorties performed by the fighter planes.
The air war, dubbed as Operation Inherent Resolve, cost $580 million as on 16 October, according to Pentagon's own admission.
The proposed additional funding would also pay for the roughly 1,400 US military advisors and security staff working with Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Baghdad, and Arbil, including the Baghdad airport and the US embassy.
According to Roll Call, the biggest challenge before the Obama administration is the fact that it "doesn't know yet how much the new war with ISIS will cost," except that "it knows how it will pay for it."
The funding for the campaign against ISIS comes from the Overseas Contingency Operations, also known as Global War on Terrorism fund, which is a catch-all account that has been used to also finance the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The funding request by Obama interestingly comes at a time when Pentagon's de facto war budget -- overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund -- is all set to bring down its funding limits.
Back in June, the Obama government has asked the funding limit in OCO to be brought down to $58.6 billion, but that was before US started its war efforts to 'destroy' ISIS.