Bin Laden's Death Won't Lower the Cost of Terror War
Osama bin Laden's death will have little effect on the cost of the war on terror, Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told CNBC Monday.
"I think the near-term impact of this is going to be minor. The mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues. That’s not going to change today or in the next year," he said.
The search for bin Laden and other al-Queda leaders was the "top priority for our intelligence agencies," Harrison said. The Obama administration is seeking an increase in the national intelligence program budget from fiscal 2011's $50 billion to $55 billion in fiscal 2012.
However, with pressure to bring troops out of those countries expected to mount, "we might see the war costs actually start to come down a little sooner than had been expected," according to Harrison.
The Obama adminstration's fiscal 2011 budget request just for operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan is $115 billion, but that figure would go down to $107 billion for fiscal 2012. While the administration has not issued a projection beyond 2012, the center projects the budget for fiscal 2012-2016 to be between $290 billion and $350 billion if operations continue in Afghanistan and Pakistan.