Financial Burden of Mr Obama’s Kinetic Military Actions

Outgoing Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said last month that the Pentagon expected that they would spend in the neighborhood of $750 million in the 2011 fiscal year on the operations in Libya.

However, according to a Pentagon memo which includes a detailed update on the progress of operations, U.S. operations in Libya had already cost $664 million by mid-May.

The memo states that U.S. costs are running at a rate of about $2 million a day or $60 million a month.

If spending continues at the increased rate until the end of the recently extended NATO authorization period, the Department of Defense could face an extra bill of about $274 million to pay for a combination of air strikes, refueling operations and intelligence-gathering missions. This would only serve to further strain the already bloated military budget.

Any additional costs could also add to pressure on the US to limit its mission in Libya. The House of Representatives just recently passed a non-binding resolution demanding that President Obama explain the US involvement in Libya, forestalling a more radical measure seeking an end to US involvement.

Although it is working under NATO, the US is by far the largest contributor to operation Unified Protector. As of mid-May it was conducting 70 per cent of reconnaissance missions, over 75 per cent of refuelling flights and 27 per cent of all air sorties.

The administration hasn’t seen fit to justify, either to Congress or to the American people, the national security interest requiring American military involvement in the civil war in Libya.

I don’t believe this nation can afford Kinetic Military Actions such as the one in Libya or the not-so-public one in Yemen where we are using drones and fighter aircraft to perform airstrikes in that country as well.

Mr. President, it is time to end these conflicts.

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