Even a short, swift military strike against Syria could cost the United States more than $600 million at a time when the Pentagon is already undergoing extraordinary budget cuts, according to Defense News.
Since any proposed action would likely be limited and lasting only a few days, defense analysts and experts are using the opening stages of the Libyan operation two years ago as a baseline for projected costs. But unlike the Libya campaign, there is little talk of establishing a costly no-fly zone over Syria.
The bulk of the costs from a strike against Syria would come from munitions, including Tomahawk missiles, the primary weapon expected to be used. One Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, or TLAM, carries a price tag of $1.4 million. The five U.S. Navy destroyers deployed off the coast of Syria can theoretically carry up to 96 Tomahawks each. Though U.S. officials will not comment on submarine positions, a guided-missile submarine can carry up to 154 Tomahawk missiles. In the Libyan campaign, U.S. submarines fired as many as 99 Tomahawk missiles against targets onshore.
There are also supporting costs involved with coordinating the strikes, such as command and control intelligence aircraft and aerial refueling tankers.
Read the full story at Defense News.