Since bombings against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq began last August, the US has spent more than $2.7 billion The Pentagon estimates that the average daily expenditure at present is above $9 million.
This is the first time detailed breakdown of costs have been given. In September last year estimates of what total costs might be were given. These were much higher but then the bombings and fight against the Islamic State is far from over.Since much of the effort against the Islamic State involves bombing and air reconnaissance, it is hardly surprising that two thirds of the cost, or $1.8 billion, was spent by the U.S. Air Force. Combat, reconnaissance, and other flights are costing more than $5 million each day. In a rare breakdown of costs, the report indicates that secret special forces operations had cost more than $200 million since last August. These details were revealed just as the US Congress rejected legislation that would have banned any spending on combat operations before a new war pøwers bill was passed.Other costs from last August include $438 million for the Navy, and $274 million for the Army, which has trainers and special forces troops on the ground. There was also $16 million for military pay; $646 million for munitions; and $21 million for intelligence and surveillance operations. The U.S. will also be faced with the task of replacing equipment and munitions seized by the Islamic State in their original offensive. The retreating Iraqi forces often left munitions and equipment at their abandoned bases. The same situation repeated itself during the recent capture of the city of Ramadi by the Islamic State. The military-industrial complex prospers through this creative destruction. They sell the U.S. government the planes and bombs that destroy the munitions and equipment now in possession of the Islamic State, which formerly was provided by U.S. industry to the Iraqi government. Now the Iraqi forces will need to be resupplied.Two recent events may ensure that there is increased U.S. spending on the fight against the Islamic State. Obama has announced that he will be sending up to 450 more US troops to Iraq. The US is also considering sending arms directly to Sunni and Kurdish forces in Iraq. There are other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and a number of Arab states who have joined the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State. If their costs were included the total spent on the fight against the Islamic State would be much higher. The appended video is from March of this year.