American taxpayers will have to foot more than $3 billion of the latest $32.2 billion installment for the United States' costs of the Persian Gulf war, Bush administration figures show.
The U.S. funds are needed because six wartime allies have so far delivered less than two-thirds of the $54.6 billion they pledged to help the United States. The need for money will probably grow by tens of billions of dollars because the $32.2 billion is only part of what the war and its aftermath are expected to cost, an administration report said.The figures are the first update of the costs since Congress passed war-financing legislation last month requiring regular reports from the administration on the war's expenses and foreign contributions.
They were released Thursday by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who once again expressed his displeasure with the slow rate with which contributions have arrived.
"We do not yet know the total amount that will be needed, but we expect our allies to pay their fair share, and at least to pay what they pledged to pay," Byrd said on the Senate floor.
The war-costs bill included a ban on arms sales to nations that still owe promised payments. But the measure gave President Bush leeway to continue weapons deliveries to countries in the process of paying the pledged aid.
So far, six countries have paid just under $29 billion in cash to the United States for its costs of fighting Iraq.
The United States is using those funds to pay the bulk of the latest war bills. The rest, more than $3 billion, is coming from $15 billion in federal money provided in the war-financing legislation that Bush signed into law April 10.
Country pledged paid
Saudi Arabia $16.8 billion $7.6 billion
Kuwait $ 16 billion $ 7 billion
Japan $10.7 billion $9.4 billion
Germany $ 6.6 billion $ 6 billion
UAE $ 4 billion $ 3.1 billion
South Korea $385 million $ 154 million