Pentagon: Cost of War Against ISIS Already Exceeds $3 Billion

The nearly one-year-old U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria has already cost American taxpayers more than $3 billion, according to the Pentagon.

Statistics found in a weekly ISIS cost report recently released by the Pentagon show that the total cost of the anti-ISIS war since it officially started last year had reached $3.21 billion by July 15, with the U.S. spending an average of $9.4 million daily for 342 days of operations.

When the U.S. military expanded its campaign to Syria in late September 2014, the average daily cost rose to $9.9 million from the $5.6 million spent daily when the war was solely focused on targets in Iraq, reports the Pentagon.

The primary component of Operation Inherent Resolve, the official name of the U.S. war against ISIS, is targeted airstrikes of Iraq and Syria aimed at degrading and defeating the jihadist group.

Nearly 70 percent of the funds (more than $2 billion) has been devoted to Air Force operations.

American airstrikes have damaged or destroyed 7,655 targets in total, notes the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). More than 50 percent ($1.7 billion) of the total cost has been used to pay for daily flight operations.

Munitions ($738 million) and mission support ($750 million) each take an estimated 23 percent of the more than $3 billion spent on the war thus far.

As of June 22, Operation Inherent Resolve had damaged or destroyed 7,655 targets in total, the Pentagon shows.

While 2,045 (more than 25 percent) of all the damaged or destroyed targets are buildings, 2,702 (more than one-third) have been dubbed “other targets” and 1,859 are considered “fighting positions.”

The remaining targets are either staging areas (472), High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles commonly known as humvees (325), oil infrastructures (154), or tanks (98).

ISIS “frontlines in much of northern and central Iraq have been pushed back since August 2014,” said the Pentagon in an assessment of Operation Inherent Resolve as of April 2015.

“ISIL can no longer operate freely in roughly 25 to 30 percent of populated areas of Iraqi territory where it once could,” added DoD, later noting, “ISIL’s area of influence in Syria remains largely unchanged, with its gains in As Suwayda’, Damascus Countryside, and Homs Provinces offset by losses in Halab and Al Hasakah Provinces.”

The $3.21 billion cost of the war against ISIS amounts to an estimated 0.5 percent of the DoD budget request for fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015 thru Sept. 30, 2016).


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