Pentagon puts Libya operation’s price tag at about $550 million

B-2 Spirit stealth bomber returns to home base after striking targets in Libya, March 20, 2011.

From Walter Pincus, the Washington Post:  The military intervention in Libya has cost the United States “about $550 million” in extra spending so far, a Defense Department spokeswoman said Tuesday , providing the first official estimate of the mission’s price tag.

Future costs involved in maintaining a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone in Libya and protecting civilians remain “highly uncertain,” said the spokeswoman, Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler.

But Kesler said those costs are expected to run about $40 million over the next three weeks as the U.S. military scales back its activity and NATO forces take the lead. Thereafter, the Pentagon estimates that its added costs for the Libyan operation will total about $40 million a month.  (photo: Reuters)

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