Pentagon estimates $10 million spent in Syria, Iraq every day

JORDAIN CARNEY ---- National Journal 

The United States is spending between $7 million and $10 million each day in the battle against ISIS, and the Pentagon said Friday it needs more money from Congress.

"We're generally spending roughly, since this effort started, $7 million to $10 million a day. That's being funded out of OCO, overseas contingency operations," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a Friday press conference. Commonly referred to as war funds, the money isn't subject to congressional budget caps.

The Pentagon estimated in late August that it was spending $7.5 million a day in Iraq, where it has conducted more than 200 airstrikes. Since Monday, the U.S. and its allies have launched more than 40 strikes against targets in Syria.

Asked Thursday how much the U.S. was spending, Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the department is still working to calculate official costs. He added that he "wouldn't be surprised if the answer that we come back with once we do the pencil work is different" than any estimates.

Defense Department officials are also working to project what the long-term costs will be for the ISIS fight, which is expected to take years.

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