Attrition: Wear and Tear in Iraq


February 28, 2006: The U.S. military (mainly the army, and mainly in Iraq), expects to lose (in combat) $1.5 billion worth of weapons and equipment this year, $600 million next year and nearly $500 million in 2008. This is based on the current trend of troop withdrawals to continue. A much larger expense is incurred by the maintenance and repairs of weapons and equipment. This comes to $5.2 billion this year, $4.6 billion next year and $4.5 billion in 2008. The high maintenance costs, relative to combat losses, comes from heavy use of equipment and declining enemy attacks. Enemy activity in Iraq has been declining over the last six months, and that trend shows no sign of changing. While combat activity is up in Afghanistan, it was much lower there to begin with.


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