First Day of Libya Strikes Cost More Than $100 Million

Here we go again … Robert Greenwald points out the insane financial cost of yet another preemptive war (never mind the human cost), at his blog on the Rethink Afghanistan site:

President Obama’s decision to participate in the strikes in Libya has already cost U.S. taxpayers “well over $100 million,” according to the National Journal. The Journal also relayed that, “the initial stages of taking out Libya’s air defenses could ultimately cost…coalition forces between $400 million and $800 million.” The administration launched this new war (and yes, it is a war) with no official congressional authorization, little public debate and with a vague, possibly even non-existent, endgame in mind. It’s as if the lessons of the last decade are completely lost on policymakers in the United States.

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile (Approximate cost: $756,000 in 2011 dollars).

Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile (Approximate cost: $756,000 in 2011 dollars).

Congress and the President should be ending the wars we were already in, not starting new ones in new Arab countries where even the hint of civilian casualties could quickly set fire to a bonfire of anti-U.S. sentiment. For example:

“A day after a summit meeting in Paris set the military operation in motion, a vital Arab participant in the agreement expressed unhappiness with the way the strikes were unfolding. The former chairman of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, told Egyptian state media that he was calling for an emergency league meeting to discuss the situation in the Arab world, and particularly Libya.

“‘What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,’ he said, referring to Libyan government claims that allied bombardment had killed dozens of civilians. “

This is what happens even when there’s no definitive proof of civilian casualties. And don’t kid yourself for a second: there will be civilian casualties. Just remember the opening days of the Iraq War, where none of the first 50 “precision” airstrikes hit their intended targets.

One would think that two horrendously expensive military disasters would be enough for the president and his advisers. After all, over in Afghanistan, we’re already spending $1 million per soldier, per year, and spending approved by Congress will bring the total price tag just for direct Afghanistan War costs to half-a-trillion dollars this year. And that war is a caustic catastrophe that severely undermines U.S. national interests. Is a war where more troops have died this year than any other year of the conflict, where more civilians have died than any other year of the conflict, where more U.S. resources have been wasted than any other year of the conflict, not enough to hold the administration’s attention?

The Obama Administration shouldn’t think for a second that the fact that this expensive new military assault is taking place while policymakers are slashing basic services and public-sector jobs will be lost on the American people…

[continues on the Rethink Afghanistan site]

, , ,

  • dumbsaint

    If you guys weren’t helping out in Libya you would be seen as supreme hypocrites to the rest of the world. Unlike the other instances, these folk are asking for help to bring about democracy and to depose a shitty dictator.

    • Haystack

      It’s more upsetting to me that we’re not helping Bahrain.

      • dumbsaint

        I agree entirely. However keep in mind the situation there can’t really be handled by bombing the shit out of things and that’s about all the UN seems to be willing to sanction. That’s not on the US either. Why aren’t Foreign Governments lobbying the UN for intervention in Bahrain (or the Congo after so many years.) . It’s a pretty useless organization, but I’m getting behind them in Libya. The fucker turned his Airforce against civilians, that shit needed to be stopped and clearly the US were the right people for the job.

    • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

      If the intention is to remove Gadhafi that could be done without spending millions on missiles and blowing up innocent people. This is just about keeping the profit flow for military contractors like Raytheon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raytheon#Controversies). That’s where the “costs” go in military action. So why wait for public–or even congressional–approval?!

      • dumbsaint

        If that’s the case why are you guys only planning to stay in the thick of it for a matter of days?

        • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

          I don’t think the public will know the true plan for some time. We thought the plan was to leave Iraq after Saddam was taken down. Then the U.S. army built a base the size of a city in Iraq, to guard over oil reserves indefinitely. I recommend “No End in Sight.” One of the best documentaries about that subject I’ve found.

  • Anonymous

    If you guys weren’t helping out in Libya you would be seen as supreme hypocrites to the rest of the world. Unlike the other instances, these folk are asking for help to bring about democracy and to depose a shitty dictator.

  • Anonymous

    If you guys weren’t helping out in Libya you would be seen as supreme hypocrites to the rest of the world. Unlike the other instances, these folk are asking for help to bring about democracy and to depose a shitty dictator.

  • Haystack

    It’s more upsetting to me that we’re not helping Bahrain.

  • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

    If the intention is to remove Gadhafi that could be done without spending millions on missiles and blowing up innocent people. This is just about keeping the profit flow for military contractors like Raytheon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raytheon#Controversies). That’s where the “costs” go in military action. So why wait for public–or even congressional–approval?!

  • Alturn

    It may have cost the US $100 million but it cost the ones we did it for – the oil companies – just the cost of the phone call to make it happen. And their best friends in the defense industry got a profit boost. Nothing like a win-win.

    To date nothing has really changed:
    “What is the solution to the massive upheavals and tragedies taking place all over the world? Just as the politicians sent huge armies to defend the four-to-five million people of Kuwait to protect its nonexistent democracy, so they should send armies to Africa where millions upon millions of people are suffering. Their suffering is a direct result of the mischievous politics of African politicians who have been given arms and ammunition by the West and the Soviet Union, said the associate.
    Where are the Europeans, the Americans and the Soviets now? Not in Africa or the Third World, because these areas have nothing to offer in oil or revenue. They call themselves the defenders of democracy and peace. But Maitreya calls them the Pretenders. They do nothing because there is nothing in it for them. It is not God who causes such calamities. The blame should be pinned firmly upon the politicians.”
    – World Teacher Maitreya through an associate in May 1991 as reported by Share International

  • Alturn

    It may have cost the US $100 million but it cost the ones we did it for – the oil companies – just the cost of the phone call to make it happen. And their best friends in the defense industry got a profit boost. Nothing like a win-win.

    To date nothing has really changed:
    “What is the solution to the massive upheavals and tragedies taking place all over the world? Just as the politicians sent huge armies to defend the four-to-five million people of Kuwait to protect its nonexistent democracy, so they should send armies to Africa where millions upon millions of people are suffering. Their suffering is a direct result of the mischievous politics of African politicians who have been given arms and ammunition by the West and the Soviet Union, said the associate.
    Where are the Europeans, the Americans and the Soviets now? Not in Africa or the Third World, because these areas have nothing to offer in oil or revenue. They call themselves the defenders of democracy and peace. But Maitreya calls them the Pretenders. They do nothing because there is nothing in it for them. It is not God who causes such calamities. The blame should be pinned firmly upon the politicians.”
    – World Teacher Maitreya through an associate in May 1991 as reported by Share International

  • kcorb

    If the price of a barrel of oil goes up $5US then that cost the US $100 million a day. Don’t think this is specifically about control of Libyan oil but instead just the price of oil in general. If the West can speed up the conclusion of the civil war in Libya it’s going to do everything it can to do so. Just happens they’re betting on democracy this time instead of autocracy. I think if they thought Qaddafi would have been able to quickly put down the rebels they probably would have let him.

  • kcorb

    If the price of a barrel of oil goes up $5US then that cost the US $100 million a day. Don’t think this is specifically about control of Libyan oil but instead just the price of oil in general. If the West can speed up the conclusion of the civil war in Libya it’s going to do everything it can to do so. Just happens they’re betting on democracy this time instead of autocracy. I think if they thought Qaddafi would have been able to quickly put down the rebels they probably would have let him.

  • Anonymous

    If that’s the case why are you guys only planning to stay in the thick of it for a matter of days?

  • Anonymous

    I agree entirely. However keep in mind the situation there can’t really be handled by bombing the shit out of things and that’s about all the UN seems to be willing to sanction. That’s not on the US either. Why aren’t Foreign Governments lobbying the UN for intervention in Bahrain (or the Congo after so many years.) . It’s a pretty useless organization, but I’m getting behind them in Libya. The fucker turned his Airforce against civilians, that shit needed to be stopped and clearly the US were the right people for the job.

  • http://www.nickmeador.org/ ndmeador

    I don’t think the public will know the true plan for some time. We thought the plan was to leave Iraq after Saddam was taken down. Then the U.S. army built a base the size of a city in Iraq, to guard over oil reserves indefinitely. I recommend “No End in Sight.” One of the best documentaries about that subject I’ve found.

21
More in Libya, Rethink Afghanistan, Robert Greenwald
Kucinich Wants to Impeach Obama For Libyan Strike

John Bresnahan & Jonathan Allen write in the Politico: A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising...

Close