However, a lack of government consistency and transparency has made the figures difficult to estimate, and they likely understate the full costs of the mission, the report says.
Wow, that comes as a big surprise - the HarperCon$ have made it difficult for the Parliamentary officer responsible to get to the real numbers.
The figures released Thursday are incremental costs — that is, they do not include costs such as salaries that would be incurred by Canada's military anyway, even if it were not in Afghanistan. The cost of military operations, veterans benefits and foreign aid related to the mission were all part of the estimate.
However, Page said certain costs weren't included due to the difficulty of estimating them reliably, and this suggests the figures "may likely understate the costs" of the mission. Such additional costs include danger pay and the need to replace equipment sooner if it is deployed in war rather than peacetime.
So, reality is the number is a lot more than the $18.1 Billion - and I shudder to think how much we've spent on "urgent" equipment purchases that didn't follow the usual competitive bid process.
But, that's not the best part - all of that is simply depressing. Truly pathetic is the utter lack of comprehension of the financial costs coming from our supposed economic genius of a prime minister:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had previously estimated that the total cost so far would amount to less than $8 billion.
We can afford this how?