Tuesday Mar 29, 201106:14 PM GMT
Libya war costs US tax payers $550mn
Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:15PM
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The Pentagon says it has spent $550 million on U.S. military operations in Libya, mostly for bombs and missiles.

 

Details of expenditures on the Libya mission show the Defense Department spending more than 60 percent of the $550 million on bombs and missiles, and the rest on getting troops and funding the costs of combat.

 

The total, the first official tab to be released by the Pentagon, reflects expenditures above and beyond those of day-to-day military operations like troop salaries and the upkeep of ships, Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler told the AP. Politico

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Of the $550 million in added spending through Monday, about 60 percent was "for munitions, the remaining costs are for higher operating tempo" of U.S. forces and of getting them there, Kesler said on Tuesday. AP

 

The spending only addresses the U.S. part of the costs in Libya, where an international coalition has been operating and NATO is now taking over command. AP

 

"Future costs are highly uncertain," Kesler said. But officials estimate that they'll see added costs of about $40 million over the next three weeks as U.S. forces are reduced and NATO assumes more responsibility for the operation started March 19, she said. AP

 

After that, officials expect to spend about $40 million a month, "if U.S. forces stay at the levels currently planned and the operation continues," Kesler said. AP

 

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday told Americans his actions had stopped a "massacre" in Libya, but warned a military campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi could repeat the bloodshed and misery of Iraq. Raw Story

 

Obama mounted a firm defense of his decision to launch air strikes and launch a no-fly zone as part of an international coalition to protect civilians after the teetering Arab strongman threatened his own people with a bloodbath. Raw Story

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

The Obama Administration took the United States to war against Libya without bothering to notify Congress, much less obtain a constitutionally-mandated declaration of war. The Hill

 

As a candidate in 2007, then-Sen. Obama said a president could not unilaterally authorize military action without Congress' consent. That's just what he's now doing in Libya. slate.com

 

The United States and its allies have run into some criticism for the intensity of the firepower unleashed on Libya. rferl.org

 

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday (March 23) sharpened his criticism of President Barack Obama's handling of military operations in Libya, pressing Obama over the mission's cost, leadership and exit strategy. Reuters

 

Newt Gingrich, former U.S. House speaker and potential presidential candidate accused Obama of going to war without having a real consultation with Congress. Mcclatchydc.com

 

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates warned Congress earlier in March that even a more modest effort to establish a no-flight zone over Libya would have to begin with an attack on the country's air defenses and would require "a big operation in a big country." NY Times

 

"This is not a question of whether we or our allies can do this. We can do it," Gates told reporters aboard his plane after a visit to Bahrain. "The question is whether it's a wise thing to do and that's the discussion that's going on at a political level," he said. Times of India

 

HJ/SM/MMN

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