Sep 06 2013
The August jobs report released yesterday shows a slower than expected growth in job creation in an economy that is still recovering from the worst recession in decades. In this context, a push for military action in Syria is not just undesirable for a war-weary public, but also unaffordable.
Secretary of State John Kerry said at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing this week that certain unnamed Arab countries had offered to cover the costs of a US military operation. At the same hearing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel estimated that the actual cost could run into the tens of millions of dollars.
Yet, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, said in a letter to the Obama administration earlier this year, that training and assisting the rebels could cost $500 million a year, while establishing a no-fly zone could cost $500 million initially and then average $1 billion a month to maintain.
Past US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan offer some estimates. The Iraq war alone cost $800 billion, wildly off the scale of the initial estimate of $60 billion.
Now, the National Priorities Project has a new online tool called the “Cost of National Security,” enabling the public to, for example, estimate the cost of a few Tomahawk missiles and what the same money could pay for in their own cities in terms of roads and schools.
GUEST: Mattea Kramer, Research Director with the National Priorities Project
Visit the website www.nationalpriorities.org.