I’m surprised it’s not more. It probably is. Pretty interesting that this article appeared in Stars and Stripes.
But using his $500,000 upper estimate, last Saturday’s strike missions alone cost as much as $4.5 million. And those figures don’t even include the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights necessary to scope out targets ahead of strikes, which have helped make even the low-level campaign against the Islamic State hugely expensive. The Pentagon revealed on Monday that it has spent as much as $1.1 billion on military operations against the Islamic State since June.
Even more disheartening, most, if not all, of the equipment being destroyed originally came from the United States — which is why we’re able to estimate its worth. It was given to the Iraqi army ahead of the U.S. military’s withdrawal in 2011 and captured by the Islamic State when it advanced into Iraq earlier this year. That means Washington is now spending hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury to destroy Humvees, tanks and other weapons that American taxpayers purchased. The situation has led some observers to joke that the Pentagon should christen the mission “Operation Hey, That’s My Humvee.”