President Requests $5.6 Billion to Fight ISIS

ISIS Counter Nov 10

NPP tracks the amount spent fighting ISIS here.

What does America expect to accomplish in fighting ISIS? And what will it cost?

Here are two sets of numbers to bear in mind:

The cost of the fight against ISIS:

  • $2.7 billion: the amount that the U.S. would spend fighting ISIS in a year at the current rates of spending.


  • $5.6 billion: the amount President Obama  requested last week to “degrade and destroy”” ISIS in the coming year.

The President’s request is twice as much as the U.S. has been spending so far. What accounts for this difference? Is it the 1,500 additional troops the President requested last week (bringing the total to 3,000)? Will the U.S. escalate its actions against ISIS even further, and where will it end?

Things only get murkier when we look at the total funding devoted to war, including funding ostensibly meant for Afghanistan:

  • $63.6 billion: Obama’s Department of Defense war request, including the $5.6 billion additional funding to fight ISIS.


  • $79.4 billion: the current level of Department of Defense war funding Congress has provided under the continuing resolution, which Congress may extend for the entire fiscal year. One question is whether Congress will choose to increase this even more to pay for the war against ISIS.

Again, why the difference? If Congress chooses to provide $15.8 billion more in war funding than what the President asks, what is that extra money for?

When Congress acts to set war funding levels for the rest of fiscal year 2015, they should go to great lengths to provide clarity about what the mission against ISIS actually is, and how much that’s actually going to cost.

An ongoing lack of clarity has real consequences. With  the meter running on this latest chapter of #EndlessWar, Congress must recognize that every dollar we spend on military action is a dollar that’s not available to meet the growing list of pressing domestic needs here at home.