The Bush administration estimates that the cost of the Persian Gulf War for the first three months of this year will be $56 billion, with U.S. allies to pay $41 billion and the American taxpayer $15 billion.
President Bush will send Congress a supplemental budget request by the end of next week seeking the additional funds, according to senior administration officials.
The amount U.S. taxpayers will bear is in line with what the administration had estimated at the time of submitting its budget earlier this month. But the total foreign commitment was $10 billion less than what Budget Director Richard G. Darman said the United States had received for war costs through the end of March.
Officials said the foreign contributions, which have been pledged but not all received, include $5.5 billion from Germany; $9 billion from Japan, pending approval by the Diet; $13.5 billion from Kuwait; $13.5 billion from Saudi Arabia and about $300 million from South Korea.
The $15 billion taxpayer cost for 90 days compares to the $11 billion that Darman told Congress the Persian Gulf deployment cost last year.
As it did last week when it announced a final accounting of the additional costs of Desert Storm, the White House is expected to emphasize that countries other than the United States will be picking up more than 80 percent of the tab. The aim is to quell critics of Germany and Japan in particular who have argued that those two nations have not contributed their fair share.
The White House is working under a budget agreement reached last year that, in effect, allows the administration to cover war costs without disrupting the rest of the deficit-reduction package forged in 1990.
Under the budget accord, the cost of other government programs are capped, and increases are possible only if new revenue or shifts from other accounts are produced to stay within budget numbers. The cost of the savings and loan cleanup is another exception.
The supplemental will not include any increased foreign aid for Israel or Turkey, although members of Congress have expressed interest in it.
Israel's ambassador to the United States, Zalman Shoval, said yesterday that Israel was not receiving enough aid to cover its war losses.
Shoval, in an interview with Reuter, said, "We have not received one cent of aid in spite of the fact that we have had immense direct military costs . . . not to mention even the indirect economic costs such as the loss of tourism."
But administration and congressional sources said the budget agreement erects formidable hurdles to any increased aid for Israel.
Any new funds for Israel could only come from offsetting spending cuts for other countries in the foreign aid program and in U.S. agencies funded by the foreign aid account. So an increase to Israel could mean decreases for Egypt, Turkey and other countries as well as the United Nations, refugee assistance, the Peace Corps or the Agency for International Development.
Two narrow exemptions might benefit Israel -- the one for operational costs directly associated with the Persian Gulf War and another that would allow Bush to declare an emergency situation that would require lifting the caps.
Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, said Israel's losses as a result of the war are "a serious problem that needs to be dealt with." But he added, "I don't think it would qualify as an emergency" under the terms of the budget agreement.
If any attempt to increase aid to Israel is made, more money would also have to be sought for Turkey, officials said. Turkey has also borne economic hardships and increased costs because of its role in the international alliance.