Only Dollars and Cents

A little while ago, Megan Scully, a noted West Coast CPA, put the cost of the uncalled for US assault on Libya in perspective. She knows that some folks understand only dollars and cents.

“With U.N. coalition forces bombarding Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi from the sea and air,” she began, “the United States’ part in the operation could ultimately hit several billion dollars – and require the Pentagon to request emergency funding from Congress to pay for it.

“The first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn had a price tag that was well over $ 100 million for the U.S. in missiles alone. And the U.S. military, which remains in the lead now in its third day, has pumped millions more into air-and sea-launched strikes targeting air-defense sites and ground-force positions along Libya’s coastline.

“(UPDATE: Five days into Operation Odyssey Dawn, Costs Mounting)

“The ultimate total that the United States will spend will hinge on the length and scope of the strikes as well as on the contributions of its coalition allies … Complicating matters, however, is the fact that most of the coalitions’ militaries, which operate on a fraction of the Pentagon’s yearly allowance, are grappling with budget pressures of their own. While the Defense Department hopes to transfer control to coalition partners in the coming days, the longer the operations over Libya continue, the more difficult it will be for allies to take the lead. Zack Cooper, a senior analyst at the think tank, acknowledged that the operation’s costs are still too difficult to estimate because of lingering questions following the weekend strikes.” –

Once again we feel we should quote a portion of the letter we circulated on March 3, 2003, “A Sensible Alternative”, which endorsed a revival of America’s shipbuilding industry:

“There are more than a million young men and women now serving in our armed forces and none of them know what the future has in store for them. They, as well as all young Americans, are entitled to a peaceful and productive future, however. Consider this scenario, if you will, as an alternative to the program of war and terror that our administration has embarked upon. In place of uniformed robots (because that’s what our children are forced to be), one million of newly employed young civilians, with averaged earnings of $ 50,000 per year, would require a total payroll of only $ 50 billion per year … a far cry from the cost of this upcoming war. Hundreds of business entities could be established to employ these young people and to restore economic dominance to our country. (Our decision-makers have already transferred our manufacturing capabilities to foreign countries, remember.) The cost of such economic development would be a drop in the bucket compared to the amount now being appropriated for the horrors scheduled for the world. We simply need to redirect the ‘funding’ from munitions manufacturers and the armed services into more rational endeavors.” –

But again and again the agenda of the “military-industrial complex” receives political endorsement.