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Gates Estimates 2009 War Costs At $136 Billion

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is estimating that military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost almost $136 billion.

The cost is for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 and presumes that operations will continue at their current pace.

Gates told top lawmakers in a New Year's Eve letter that the Pentagon would need nearly $70 billion more to supplement the $66 billion approved last year. He also points out that estimate is his "personal assessment and does not reflect the position of the Bush administration or the incoming Obama administration."

The estimate would also cover other elements of the global war on terror.

Gates says an official request for war funding is coming after a review by the Obama administration.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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