Over at ABC News, Devin Dwyer and Luis Martinez report that the first week of the U.S. intervention in Libya has cost at least $600 million. According to their sources, the most costly items include
- 191 Tomahawk cruise missiles – $269 million
- F-15E fighter – $60 million+
- Fuel for jets and ships
- Other munitions
Other news sources report lower costs for missiles and the fighter, so I would take ABC’s numbers with a grain of salt until there’s official sourcing. Still, they give a useful sense of the financial costs of the operation.
By any normal standards, $600 million (and counting) is great deal of money – bigger, indeed, than some of the programs that Congress is fighting over in its never-ending debate over the 2011 budget.
For full context, though, keep in mind that we are on track to spend $110 billion in Afghanistan this year and $44 billion in Iraq.