Katie Couric's Notebook: The Cost Of War

Hi, everyone.

Tonight, President Bush will present his new strategy for Iraq.

That includes an additional billion dollars for reconstruction. It's hard to keep track of how much this war has cost so far, but it's worth trying.

So far, the price tag is at least 350 billion dollars, about four times the budget of the Department of Education.

Combined with the war in Afghanistan, it's over half a trillion dollars, rapidly approaching the inflation-adjusted 663 billion we spent over two decades in Vietnam.

Last month the Pentagon requested a hundred billion more.

Of course, freedom is not always free. But regardless of your politics, it's important to know exactly what we're spending, and why.

Needless to say, the true cost of war isn't measured in dollars, but in lives. Whether the sacrifice of those who have given theirs is worth America's investment will be debated for years to come.

That's a page from my notebook.