Defence Committee

Session 2007-08, 5 December 2007

Publication of Report

Publication of Report


The cost of military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan is expected to increase this year, says a report published today by the House of Commons Defence Committee (Second Report of Session 2007-08, Costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan: Winter Supplementary Estimate 2007-08, HC 138).

  • The forecast cost of operations in Afghanistan has gone up 39% to £964 million in 2007-08. The MPs say this is not surprising, given the increase in UK Forces there over the year and the high operational tempo. But they say that the Ministry of Defence must provide more detail on the capital programmes there.

  • The forecast cost of operations in Iraq has gone up 2% to £955 million in 2007-08, despite the drawdown of UK Forces. The MPs say the increase is explained by the need to invest in facilities at Basra Airport and force protection. But they say that the MoD must explain why military personnel costs for Iraq are expected to fall by only 5% this year.

  • These forecast costs do not include contingency, indirect resource costs and the costs of operations in the Balkans, so the MPs warn that it is likely that the MoD will need to ask for more money for operations later in the year.

The Report - published on the day the House of Commons will be asked to agree the Government's Winter Supplementary Estimates - recommends that the House approves the MoD's request for additional resources, given the importance of ensuring that UK Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are properly resourced.

Commenting on the report, Committee Chairman Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP said:

"Few people will object to the investment made this year in better facilities and equipment for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The money spent on better-protected fighting vehicles is particularly welcome. But a lot of public money is being spent on these operations, and the MoD needs to provide better information about what it is all being spent on. The Government should not take Parliament's agreement to its spending plans for granted."


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005. The Defence Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies.


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