Cost of wars
By Gerri Peev
Last updated at 12:33 PM on 21st June 2010Fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alongside the U.S. has cost British taxpayers more than £20billion since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, it emerged yesterday.
The bill includes £18billion for military operations as well as paying for overseas development and aid.
However the £20.34billion total, revealed for the first time in official
Whitehall figures, does not include the salaries of soldiers or paying for their
long-term injuries and mental health care.
It is also on top of the £35billion annual defence budget.
Afghanistan, where operations began in October 2001, has cost more than Iraq to finance, with £11.1billion spent on the conflict so far.
The total includes £1.2billion on humanitarian, reconstruction and
IRAQ (total across all
2002-03 - £866.3m
2003-04 - £1570.8m
2004-05 - £1084.6m
2005-06 - £1139.6m
2006-07 - £1148.2m
2007-08 - £1584.3m
2008-09 - £1470.55m
Ministry of Defence alone (from Treasury reserve) 2009-10 - £358m
Department for International Development 2009-10 - £20m
Ministry of Defence (from Treasury reserve)
2001-02 - £221m
2002-03 - £311m
2003-04 - £46m
2004-05 - £67m
2005-06 - £199m
2006-07 - £742m
2007-08 - £1,490m
2008-09 - £2,623m
2009-10 - £4,200m (estimated)
Humanitarian, reconstruction and development assistance
2001-10 - £1,200million
COST OF BOTH WARS = £20.34bn
With no withdrawal date from Afghanistan for Britain's 10,000 troops, the
costs are set to rise further.
Former Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed in March that £4billion had been set aside for Afghanistan this year.
Fighting the war in Iraq cost more than £8.2billion, while £557million was
given to the country-for development.
The Foreign Office also spent £283million on diplomacy in Iraq and Whitehall spent a further £147million on other programmes such as the 'conflict prevention pool'.
It took the total bill for Iraq, which was invaded in March 2003 and where
combat operations ended in April last year, to £9.24billion.
Critics of the wars condemned the figures. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone said the cost of the war in Afghanistan would have funded free tuition in English universities for ten years.
But defence experts argued that the costs were bound to be high.
Professor Malcolm Chalmers, a defence analyst with the Royal United Services Institute, said:
'They have been long and sustained operations in difficult geographical
'Simply maintaining thousands of people in such a location takes a lot of money on logistics before you have even started.'
The true cost of the war will become clear only in the decades to come when
troops suffering long-term mental and physical injuries seek treatment.
General Sir David Richards
General Sir David Richards is tipped to become the new head of the Armed
Forces after impressing David Cameron with his call for urgent change in
The country's top general is set to become the new Chief of the Defence Staff
in the autumn when Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup stands down.
General Richards, who has 40 years of military experience, has called for an
end to suggestions that Britain will pull out of Afghanistan imminently.
He wants more 'boots on the ground' in the country.
His appointment could signal a longer haul in Afghanistan for troops, as he has called for Nato allies to help build schools and clinics and create good local governance in volatile Helmand province.