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article imageU.S. campaign against Islamic State to likely reach $1 billion

By Andrew Ellis     Oct 1, 2014 in World
A recent report released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, based in Washington D.C., says the campaign against the Islamic State is going likely cost the United States at least $1 billion.
The CSBA's report, according to The Washington Post, includes a detailed breakdown of three likely scenarios the U.S. will take as well the what they've spent so far, and future costs.
As of right now, the report says that it's likely the U.S. has already spent $780 million to $930 million on the military campaign against the foreign militant group so far. Going forward, the per month cost will likely be $200 million to $3 million with nearly 2,000 troops on the ground.
The Washington Post reports that if the airstrike pace increases and 5,000 troops get put on the ground, then the CSBA says the cost would increase between $350 million and $570 million. Lower intensity airstrike operations could cost between $2.4 billion to $3.8 billion annually. If increased and kept at a higher rate, however, the airstrikes could cost between $4.2 billion and $6.8 billion a year.
Since August 8, the U.S. military has successfully launched roughly 220 airstrikes in Iraq, and about 40 in Syria since September 23, according to the report. On Monday, the U.S. said that it carried out another eight airstrikes in Syria in partnership with other countries aiding in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, and launched another three in Iraq.
At a cost of more than a $1 million per missile, the CSBA report says that the Navy has launched 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria mostly targeted at the Khorasan Group who is allegedly tied to al-Qaida. The airstrikes themselves have been carried out by fighter jets, gunships such as the AC-130, drones, and the B-1B bomber.
As of right now, the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have all participated in the campaign, and the Army has more than 1,000 troop on the ground. Most of them being Special Operations. The report states, according to The Washington Post, that the U.S. is preparing a 500-soldier HQ in Iraq from the Army's 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas.
To sum up the three scenarios, the report said that an airstrike campaign that's similar the one currently going on would cost $200 million to $320 million a month, a larger air campaign would cost $350 million to $570 million a month, and one that includes 25,000 troops on the ground would cost $1.1 billion to $1.8 billion per month. The report says that 80 percent of that cost would for the ground troops, but President Barack Obama has said that that scenario will not go forward.
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