The Truth-O-Meter Says:

"We're spending $1.6 billion for all of Latin America in terms of aid and assistance, a fraction of what we're spending in Iraq, the $500 billion we've spent there"

Chris Dodd on Sunday, September 9th, 2007 in a debate in Miami, Fla.

Correct, although money not yet appropriated

Dodd's assertion that foreign aid spending on Latin America stands at $1.6 billion dollars is accurate, albeit with the caveat that the money has yet to be appropriated. The amount he refers to is what has been requested by the administration for the upcoming fiscal year, subject to adjustments by Congress.

The claim that the United States has spent $500 billion in Iraq is not entirely accurate, but it, too, is pretty darn close. Estimates vary on the precise amount spent since the 2003 invasion, but two of the most credible sources, the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office, give the total as approximately $450 billion and $413 billion, respectively.

Thus, Dodd's assertion that U.S. spending in Iraq has already passed the half trillion dollar mark is slightly exaggerated, but that's a quibble.

His overall point that spending on aid to Latin America is only a small fraction of Iraq spending is very much on target.

About this statement:

Published: Friday, September 14th, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Subjects: Foreign Policy


U.S. State Department, Fiscal 2008 Budget Request: International Affairs

Congressional Research Service, The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Congressional Budget Office Testimony, July 31, 2007 Estimated Costs of U.S. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and of Other Activities Related to the War on Terrorism

Written by: Jody Kyle
Researched by: Jody Kyle
Edited by: Scott Montgomery

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