Posted by: SWL | April 4, 2011

Another Reason for Federal Spending Cuts

One more reason to urge Congress to make budget cuts: $1-1.5 million for every Tomahawk missile launched against Libyan government forces.

An Associated Press story on Tampa Bay Online reports the US spent $550 million during the first 10 days of air support for the Libyan rebels. That was through March 28. Our participation was supposed to end Saturday, but NATO requested the US continue through Monday*. The administration agreed.

Averaging the first 10 days’ costs, our participation in this quasi-war will cost $935 million by the end of today.

Reuters news service says these costs do not include the cost of an F-15 fighter that crashed in Libya due to a mechanical failure. And defense analyst Loren Thompson** estimates the actual cost may be $2 billion per day when you factor in the additional cost of keeping our military ready to deploy on short notice.

A story on the New York Post’s website cites a Pentagon estimate of $40 million a month after our active participation in the air strikes ends. It greatly concerns me that the Pentagon thinks this situation will continue for months.

If the administration believes this is a valid action, they need to consult Congress, then make federal spending cuts to pay for it. Our government has debt far greater than the revenue it will receive this year. No matter how good and just the cause, we must not undermine our own security with more deficit spending.

* April 3 AP story on the Chicago Daily Herald’s website (dailyherald.com)
** Defense analyst with the Lexington Institute, on his blog at Forbes.com

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