Defense Costs | Breaking It Down
Some lawmakers have argued that a potential conflict in Syria means the federal government should stop the sequester spending cuts. With estimates for the conflict in the $100 million to $1 billion range, that argument seems premature. While acknowledging the conflict could go on much longer than those estimates allow for, and again leaving the debate about the merits of action to the foreign policy experts, we wanted to examine how the Defense Department could fund a strike without sacrificing the sequester. For example, according to the Defense Department inspector general, in fiscal year 2012, the DoD made $882 million in improper payments. That $882 million could have provided:
- About Half The Funding For A Navy Destroyer. Each of the destroyers currently around Syria cost approximately $1.8 billion. $882 million would have paid for half of that cost.
- 7,500 Tomahawk Missiles. Tomahawk missiles cost about $1.2 million each so $882 million could fund 735 missiles. (A Navy destroyer holds just 90.)
- 17,640 GPS-Guided Bombs. GPS-guided bombs cost about $50,000 each. $882 million could fund 17,640 of these.