63b for war, 2.5b for rebuilding

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    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush gave key lawmakers the administration's first estimate of the cost of war with Iraq -- about $75 billion over six months, officials said Monday.

    That estimate includes nearly $63 billion for the prosecution of the war, based on a Pentagon estimate that combat will last about 30 days, according to administration and congressional sources.

    It also includes:

    • About $8 billion for assistance to countries affected by the war, including $2.5 billion for relief and reconstruction of Iraq. Countries that would receive aid include Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Colombia.

    • Nearly $4 billion for Homeland Security.

    This is the first time the administration has offered any estimate of how long combat will last. Officials stress the estimate was forced by the need to come up with budget projections. It is expected to be sent to Congress this week.

    Congressional aides and lawmakers said the administration's pending request will likely be the first of several.

    "There's more to come. We've got to level with the American people," said Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, an antiwar Democratic who is seeking the party's presidential nomination, charged that the administration "has lost control over the costs" of the Iraq conflict.

    "In fiscal terms, the costs for this unprovoked and, therefore, preventable war could have covered giving every American child safe, enriching pre-kindergarten classes or every American senior citizen prescription drug coverage for one year," he said.

    On a day driven by war developments, Bush also spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed his "concerns" over what the White House described as "disturbing," illegal Russian sales of sophisticated military equipment to Iraq.

    "This clearly is a problem that needs to be resolved," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said at a briefing with reporters. He said Putin assured Bush he would look into the matter.

    The White House, meanwhile, signaled its optimism about the military campaign to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of alleged weapons of mass destruction -- an assessment that followed the worst day of U.S. casualties to date.

    "There have been setbacks, there have been casualties," Fleischer said. "Yesterday was a tough day. But when you take a look at the overall plan, as the president has made repeatedly clear, we are indeed making progress."

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