The billion dollar war? Libyan campaign breaks Pentagon estimates costing U.S. taxpayers $2 million a day
Last updated at 10:20 PM on 9th June 2011
The cost of the U.S. campaign in Libya is set to exceed the $750 million Pentagon estimate set out in March, according to a leaked Department of Defence Memo.
The 'eyes-only' DoD dossier said the U.S. had already spent $664 million in Libya by mid-May - a running cost of $60 million a month since the bombing began in March.
At the current rate of spending, the U.S. will have to shell out at least an extra $274 million till the end of the current 90 day no fly zone extension period - brining total expenditure to a minimum of $938 million.
The news came as donors pledged more than $1.3 billion dollars to help support Libya's main opposition group, after countries backing NATO's military mission there met to prepare for the post-Moammar Gadhafi era.
The leaked document, obtained by The Financial Times, showed the rate of spending is far higher than DoD estimates issued in late march.
Then, a congressional hearing, heard the U.S. had spent about $550 million on Libya, at a rate of about $40m a month.
The soaring cost will only add to the pressure felt by military commanders already grappling with growing budgetary constraints and procurement over spends.
Mr Gates has requested extra funds for Libya operations, but has been rebuffed by the White House.
Speaking in May: 'In the case of Libya, unfortunately, we’re fundamentally having to eat that one.'
NATO airstrikes rattled the Libyan capital this morning, with seven thunderous explosions shaking the city.
Concussions from the strikes, in clusters of a few minutes apart, washed over Tripoli from its outskirts. Rebels hold swaths of eastern Libya, although fighting has since become a stalemate even with NATO support...
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