Maintaining Libya No-Fly Zone Has Cost More Than $100 Million So Far

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 21 2011 9:34 AM

Maintaining Libya No-Fly Zone Has Cost More Than $100 Million So Far

Megan Scully brings the data .

[T]he cost for the first day alone of the operation was well over $100 million with the total price tag expected to grow much higher the longer the strikes continue, analysts said.

Operation Odyssey Dawn appears to be focused on creating a limited no-fly zone mostly targeting Tripoli and other areas along the coast, which will require a wide range of military assets. 

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. 

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Advertisement

The report being referred to is posted here . A lot of the background comes from the cost estimates of the no-fly zone the United States operated over Iraq in the Clinton era. Maintaining it over the whole country cost roughly $1 billion per year; the exception was 1998, when the joint-U.S./U.K. Operation Desert Fox pushed the total cost to $2 billion.

But the cost for Libya tumbles dramatically if the United States just maintains a no fly zone along the costs, where most of the population, and the fighting, is located. The operation shown in this map, according to the CSBA, would cost between $15 million and $25 million per week.


If that's realistic, then seven weeks of a no fly zone would cost about as much as the funding House Republicans want to strip from Planned Parenthood.

(Photo: The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 1:52 PM Julian Casablancas’ New Album Sounds Like the Furthest Thing From the Strokes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.