Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, says waging a war in Syria would cost the United States 1b a month.
As reported in the New York Times, Dempsey wrote that “long-range strikes on the Syrian government’s military targets would require ‘hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers’” and cost ‘in the billions.’”
The Syrian rebellion has continued for two years, and it does not appear that President Assad will be ousted from power in the near future. This marks the first time that the Pentagon has publicly spoken about the challenges facing the U.S. if it chooses to attack Syria.
The options include “efforts to train, advise and assist the opposition; conduct limited missile strikes; set up a no-fly zone; establish buffer zones, most likely across the borders with Turkey or Jordan; and take control of Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile.”
In his letter, General Dempsey says that training, and assisting opposition forces could cost 500 million dollars a year. Add to that figure, the cost of long range air strikes, and the establishment of a ‘no-fly’ zone, requiring the downing of enemy aircraft, and the cost could reach 1b dollars per month.
He advised: “All of these options would likely further the narrow military objective of helping the opposition and placing more pressure on the regime,” General Dempsey wrote in his letter. But he added: “Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”
A decision to use force “is no less than an act of war,” General Dempsey wrote, warning that “we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.”
Add to that the questionable character and goals of the Islamic extremist rebels, additional alienation from the Arab world, and the inevitable loss of human life, begs to ask the question, ‘is intervention in Syria a choice that is best for America?’
The cost alone is prohibitive for our struggling economy. General Martin Dempsey says a Syrian War would cost 1b a day.
Alfred James reporting