The price tag for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan comes out to about $1.3 trillion in defense appropriations so far, but even after U.S. troops leave Iraq and even after the surge in Afghanistan ends, the costs will stretch far into the future.

The Congressional Budget Offices estimates that the Department of Veterans Affairs health-care system could face between $40 billion and $55 billion in costs treating veterans from the conflicts over the next 10 years, depending on how troops are deployed in the future.

Over at Federal Eye, Steve Vogel has a post previewing a hearing this morning of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the long-term human and financial costs of the wars. Check back later with Federal Eye for updates.

Among other issues, two senators are expected to press Pentagon officials to explain why it’s taking so long to discharge severely wounded combat veterans.