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article imageCosts of Libyan military operation already adding up

By Michael Krebs     Mar 22, 2011 in World
With the global economy still teetering in the face of multiple events, and its destabilizing effects felt across the United States, the costs of the Libyan War are already adding up and may exceed $1 billion.
The cost of the war in Libya to the United States could easily exceed $1 billion, according to an analysis reported by the National Journal.
The report found that the first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn, as the military incursion has been labeled, had an expenditure of well over $100 million in US missiles alone.
Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told the National Journal on Monday that the American costs could “easily pass the $1 billion mark on this operation, regardless of how well things go.”
While these figures are disturbing, particularly in a time of prolonged economic crisis and significant global financial questions on the heels of the crisis in Japan, the world's third largest economy, top US military planners have been admitting that Libya's Colonel Gaddafi could very well remain in power at the end of this military ordeal. In an interview with NBC News, as reported in the National Journal, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said that Gaddafi's survival in office is “certainly potentially one outcome.”
The US economy remains fragile, with ongoing weakness in the housing market and in overall consumer spending, according to Investors Business Daily. This does not factor in the impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on the costs to supply chains and to manufacturing within the United States. A costly third war is not likely to be well absorbed by an already stretched economy.
US politicians in both parties have been warring over budget cuts and deficit issues on national and local stages, and President Obama's sudden entry into the Libyan war took many in Congress by surprise.
In an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Republican Senator Richard Lugar, a ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, express his dismay: “It’s a strange time in which almost all of our congressional days are spent talking about budget deficits, outrageous problems. And yet [at the] same time, all of this passes.”
More about Libya, War, Obama, Military, Recession
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