WASHINGTON, D.C., September 30, 2014 – Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presented reporters with a price-tag that is shocking many war-weary Americans. According to Hagel, roughly $7 million to $10 million per day has been spent on U.S. operations against the Islamic State (ISIS) since June 16, when American troops were first deployed to assess the Iraqi military and advise its commanders.
That number brings U.S. military efforts against the Islamic State to nearly a billion dollars thus far, with an expected $2.4 billion to $3.8 billion price tag for the year if air and ground operations continue as planned. These expected budget cost analysis were released Monday by the non-partisan think tank, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The analysis also noted an even higher price tag for the fight against ISIS could be expected if an increase in air-strikes and ground troops occurs, with annual costs possibly reaching $13 billion or even $22 billion.
The report by the Center stated, “Future costs depend, to a great extent, on how long operations continue, the steady-state level of air operations, and whether additional ground forces are deployed beyond what is already planned”.
Since August 8, when the U.S. first launched its air strikes against the Islamic State, 290 air strikes have been carried out in Iraq and Syria, with the U.S conducting 265 of that number. Over 1600 U.S. troops are being deployed in Iraq and U.S. planes are flying an average of 60 attacks a day.
Taking these statistics into account, the analysis figured that the U.S. military’s efforts against the Islamic State would currently costs between $200 million and $320 million a month.