DOD: Iraq operations costing $7.5M per day
The Pentagon on Friday said American military operations in Iraq are costing an average of $7.5 million per day.
“Roughly right now, it’s about $7.5 million per day,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby during a press briefing.
“That’s based on the snapshot of the operations that have occurred on the 26th of this month,” he said.
President Obama has authorized the deployment of 775 U.S. troops to Iraq since June 16. As of Thursday, there were 768 U.S. troops in and around Baghdad and at a joint operations center in Erbil.
The U.S. military has conducted at least 106 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8, using fighter jets, attack helicopters, a bomber, and armed drones.
The military has also conducted a humanitarian mission to air drop food, water and medical supplies to Iraqis who were stranded on Mt. Sinjar earlier in the month. U.S. cargo planes dropped at least 108 bundles of supplies.
Kirby said the $7.5 million being spent per day in Iraq was the average since mid-June, though the day-to-day costs have varied. He said the costs are being covered by the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, more commonly known as the war fund.
“We think we’ve got it covered in terms of 2014,” he said. “We’re well within the limits.”
The budget picture for 2015 is less clear, since the president is expected to expand military assistance to Iraq after its new government is established, though he has not outlined any decisions so far.
— This story was updated at 1:01 p.m.