The figure is about 50 per cent more than previously suggested and is equivalent to almost five times Iraqi gross domestic product (GDP). It covers the estimated $60,000 million cost of fighting the war and $30,000 million to finance post-war reconstruction. The sources say they expect to present detailed cost estimates to President Bush in the first week of March.

Humanitarian and reconstruction costs are expected to involve dealing with up to 2 million refugees in the weeks after any US-led invasion of Iraq. The White House expects to spend about $1,000 million on humanitarian relief and reconstruction in the first year after an attack.