"On the first day of strikes alone, U.S.-led forces launched from ships stationed off the Libyan coast 112 long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, which cost in the range of $1 million to $1.5 million apiece.
"That is $112 million to $168 million for the first day's strike in missiles alone," writes Megan Scully in the National Journal here.
"With allies expected to shoulder some of the bill, the initial stages of taking out Libya’s air defenses could ultimately cost U.S.-led coalition forces between $400 million and $800 million, according to a report released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments earlier this month." Read the report from the independent, nonprofit Center here.
More from the National Journal: "Maintaining a coastal no-fly-zone after those first strikes would cost in the range of $30 million to $100 million per week – not pocket change by any means, but far less than the $100 million to $300 million estimated weekly cost for patrolling the skies" over the whole country.
"These unanticipated costs come at a time when the Pentagon is putting pressure on Capitol Hill to pass a fiscal 2011 defense budget. Continuing to operate under a stopgap continuing resolution through September, senior defense officials argue, would amount to a $23 billion cut to the military’s request for the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
"The Pentagon wants $708.3 billion for this year, including $159.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." Excerpts: