Libya Operation costing the US about $2 million per day

A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward Gaddafi forces west of Ajdabiyah, Libya, April 14, 2011.

From Jeremy Lemer and Christine Spolar, the Financial TimesUS military operations in Libya are on course to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the Pentagon estimated, according to figures obtained by the Financial Times.

Robert Gates, the outgoing secretary of defence, said last month that the Pentagon expected to spend “somewhere in the ball park of $750m” in the 2011 fiscal year as part of efforts to protect the Libyan people.

But according to a Pentagon memo which includes a detailed update on the progress and pace of operations, by mid-May US operations in Libya had cost $664m, a figure confirmed by the Department of Defence.

The document, entitled the “United States Contribution to Operation Unified Protector’’, adds that US costs are running at a rate of about $2m a day or $60m a month. The memo has been circulating on Capitol Hill since last week. The DoD declined to comment on the increased costs of the operation. . . .

In total the US military has fired about 228 missiles as of mid-May. For comparison the US Navy plans to buy 196 or so missiles this year for about $300m or about $1.5m each, according to US budget documents.  (photo: Getty)

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