Last week, Coalition to Reduce Spending President Jonathan Bydlak urged Congress to – should it decide to authorize the use of force by President Obama in Syria – not fund intervention on the nation’s credit card:
Should Syrian intervention become a reality, Congress should make every effort to identify a source of funding for such action, ideally by offsetting spending in current programs, rather than turning to further indebtedness to satisfy the costs of military action.
Bydlak is right to call for fiscal responsibility. While the costs of intervention are unknown – they will depend on the level of involvement – it will not be cheap. A few sources provide some potential cost estimates:
• Rachel George at Policy Mic notes missiles are incredibly expensive:
Still, Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles…considered a lynchpin tool in a possible Syria strike, can cost http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/raytheon-missiles-used-in-libya-won-t-need-replacement-purchases.html up to $1.4 million each.
• Defense News highlights secondary costs often not covered by the punditry, including how just in “the first weeks of the Libya operation, US Air Force tankers flew for more than 800 hours, costing $9.3 million.”
• The Congressional Research Service reminds us that America has already spent $1 billion “in humanitarian aid in Syria and neighboring countries,” and that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff projects action in Syria could cost upwards of $1 billion per month.
America cannot afford to add more debt on the shoulders of the next generation. Should Congress authorize the President to use force in Syria, it should also offset any spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.