What would a strike against Syria cost?
Even in a very limited scenario, any US attack entails a tab of hundreds of millions of dollars -- and that's just the financial tally.
Putting aside the harrowing thought of once again placing American military men and wormen in harm's way, what would be the economic cost of a U.S. strike on Syria?
That will depend on the size, scope and duration of any such attack, part of an expected multinational response to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people. But reports indicate it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars in the opening days alone.
Four U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers (pictured) have taken up positions in the eastern Mediterranean and are prepared to strike targets in Syria. Reuters speculates these ships would deliver the first blows of any attack. Each one can carry up to 96 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which a Navy official tells moneyNOW cost about $1.2 million each.
Multiple air strikes could also be launched from U.S. submarines and aircraft in the region.
As for the nature of any attack, "I think it would be more like Kosovo-lite, with a smaller target set and limited air involvement," Jeffrey White, defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies, recently told the Christian Science Monitor. He was referring to the 1999 NATO air war in the former Yugoslavia, meant to protect an endangered population against a brutal government crackdown.
A limited military response could end with just one series of attacks. But what then, if more force is needed? One option would be to establish a "no-fly zone" over Syria, preventing the Bashar Assad government from using its air power against rebel forces.
But in a letter last month to the Senate Armed Services Committee, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff, estimated it would cost $500 million to initially set up a no-fly zone, followed by expenses "averaging as much as a billion dollars per month over the course of a year."
Establishing a buffer zone to protect civilian populations in Syria could be even more expensive, according to the general, requiring a limited no-fly zone as well as U.S. ground forces. That would push the costs to over $1 billion per month. Other options, he said, are just as costly.
Clearly, none of this is cheap, even in a best-case scenario. In 2011, the Pentagon estimated the first few weeks of its operations in the multinational military intervention in Libya cost around $608 million. More than half of those costs went toward replacing weapons like the Raytheon (RTN) Tomahawk missiles and Boeing's (BA) Joint Direct Attack Munitions, the JDAM smart bombs, according to DefenseNews.com.
The 78-day air campaign in Kosovo, by contrast, cost the U.S. about $5 billion, although that amount also included peacekeeping and refugee assistance funds.
But up against those financial challenges are much larger issues, such as what might happen if nothing is done to stop the bloodshed in Syria and what might happen if the U.S. and its allies do strike Syria.
There will be a scene whether or not we become involved. Let's face that music
before we commit assets, manpower and our national integrity again.
The Afghanistan-Iraq Conflict was not the root cause of the Housing Crises, the
Great Unemployment Situation of 2008-2013, or the stock market's plunge, but
it certainly drained any funds which could have eased those downturns, and we
have not recovered yet. Perhaps we learned nothing as well?
Now Syria is at bat to antagonize the world. Syrians, much like Palestine and Israel,
and with Egypt on second, refuses to resolve internal disputes without outside
interventions. Syria's distemper must be recognized as setting the spark that fuels
the situation and triggers use of biological weapons ((should that be the U.N.
findings conclusions). This time though the globe might become involved over
the issue because biological warfare is ugly, inhumane and intolerable. In the
balance hangs some Middle-Eastern nations, as well as Eastern, Western and
Pacific cultures -- many, many, many nations.
The Syrian Conflict continues because the regime and the rebellion won't
compromise; each side is willing to fight to the death for victory. That's their
stand. But when outside regions become involved (i.e., US, China, Russia,
Japan, Australia, Europe......) it's not just discontented Syrians who die;
it's not just discontented Syrians who pay the cost.
I for one have not budgeted for America to become involved again in another
conflict which might lead to WWIII. I prefer that Syria resolve it's own problems
independently and completely. To give up lifestyles found in Paris, London,
Beijing, Tokyo, Hong, Kong, New York, Prague, Bruges, Montreal, Koln,
Malaga, Portofino, Melbourne etc. because we agree biological warfare is
inhumane isn't a price I'm willing to pay. Demand Syria negotiate with it's
interests or perish -- cuts everyone's losses that way. At a cost of a billion
dollars daily (estimated) for America's share alone, the ransom is too
luxurious. Let's not get coerced into another unwanted war because one
nation refuses to compromise, to cope. Coping is often a bitter, bitter pill
to swallow. I cope daily. Most everyone I know copes daily. So why shouldn't
Syria's occupants cope like the rest of the globe?
The answer is not armed intervention. The answer requires Syria align
its philosophies in the interests of survival or perish. The are other people
on the planet dissenting; in fact the list seems endless. Let's not get coerced
into other nation's conflicts. They have right to their goals and they should
finance their management or declare bankruptcy as other nations have done.
Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair. Said Simple Simon to the
pieman "Let me taste your wares... ".
Bozo-- please go play golf and ignore this situation like you ignored Benghazi.
We (USA) need to stop being big brother to this totally screwed up world.
We have enough problemsn of our own to solve, yet we concern ourselves about some pee hole country.
Keeping the shipping lanes open is important.
Let the middle East figure it out for themselves.
They have been killing each other for a couple of millenia, let them be
The far right just loves war as long as they don`t have to fight in it.We can`t afford education,
can`t afford healthcare,can`t afford to repair roads and bridges, but we can always afford war.
Isn`t that great?
"Saudi Arabia could help boost oil prices by restricting its own supply. This would be a shot in the arm for Russia, which is near recession and relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget." From another article. It even said the Saudi's could give terror immunity in the Olympics if they took the deal. WTF, the Saudi's can buy off terrorists? What is wrong with this picture!!!!!
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