The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Etch-a-Sketch’ Estimate of Libya War Costs: $40 Million Per Month? More?

Posted on | April 5, 2011 | 6 Comments

Spencer Ackerman smashes the Obama administration’s Libya policy through a plate-glass window:

How much will the Libya war cost America, now that NATO jets are hitting Moammar Gadhafi’s forces? Good luck figuring out an answer.
Michael Donley, the secretary of the Air Force, leveled with reporters that the cost estimates for the war are coming “by the hour” now that U.S. “participation in strike operations has now gone away.”  . . .
Donley’s best estimate, given to reporters at a breakfast meeting on Tuesday, was that the war has cost the Air Force about $75 million so far, with expenses running to $4 million a day. . . .
By contrast, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress last week that without a U.S. combat role in the Libya war, he expects the bill to run to $40 million per month. That doesn’t exactly match the Air Force’s tally. By Donley’s figures, if the Air Force slashed its costs for the war in half, it would still exceed Gates’ totals — and that’s not counting the Navy’s contribution.
None of this confusion should come as a surprise. The Libya war was launched on the fly and its goals are uncertain. No wonder the war bill is written with an Etch-a-Sketch.

Keeping in mind the inherent difficulty of criticizing Obama’s Libya policy — exactly what is the policy, anyway? — I’m willing to credit Ackerman for at least being consistent in his anti-war stance. If the Benghazi Bungle has accomplished nothing else useful, it might be worth $4 million a day to slap some sense into Obama’s sycophants.

(BTW, if you didn’t get the “plate-glass window” reference: That was Ackerman’s colorful description for a strategy to defend Obama during the Reverend Wright uproar, as shared with his fellow liberals on JournoList.)

Smitty asks: does this famous estimate resemble a ‘Salvador Dali print of two blindfolded dental hygienists trying to make a circle’? Because that would make it at least kinda cool.


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