Libya’s Cost to US: $600M So Far, Soon $100M a Week

One week after the United States launched a military intervention in Libya, the cost to American taxpayers has already reached at least $600 million.

Figures released by the Pentagon on Tuesday put the figure at about $550 million, but that does not include the $60 million it could cost to replace an Air Force F-15E that was lost.

Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler said the $550 million represents only the added cost to the Defense Department as of Monday — money beyond what would have been spent for troops and ships.

The United States launched at least 191 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which cost $1.4 million each, for a total of $268 million, the Pentagon said.
American warplanes have dropped 455 precision guided bombs, which each cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Three B-2 stealth bombers that flew from Missouri to Libya and back for a bombing run each cost some $10,000 per hour to fly, which means the 25-hour round trip ran up a bill of $750,000, not including the munitions they dropped.

Ships and aircraft maintaining their positions off the Libyan coast are guzzling increasingly expensive fuel, and “each sortie, even if it drops no munitions, is very pricey,” said Winslow Wheeler of the Center for Defense Information in comments reported by ABC News.

“These airplanes cost us tens of thousands of dollars to operate per hour, and the fancier you get in terms of planes, the costs get truly astounding.”<... >>>

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