The United States has spent up to an estimated $1 billion on military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIS and ISIL), a new analysis found.
According to a September 2014 report by the non-partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington, D.C., “The total cost to date from mid-June through September 24 is likely between $780 and $930 million.”
U.S. military operations against the Islamic State began in June with support to Kurdish and Iraqi forces fighting the jihadists in Iraq.
President Obama expanded that campaign to Syria with airstrikes that began on September 23.
With 2,000 troops on the ground and a continuance of airstrikes at about the current pace, the costs will likely range between $200 and $320 million per month and $2.4 to $3.8 billion per year.
There are currently 1,600 American ground troops in Iraq, a number that will increase to 2,000 “to account for the planned deployment of a U.S. Army division-level headquarters to command and control friendly forces,” noted CSBA in its analysis.
Assuming airstrikes are carried out at a higher pace and 5,000 ground forces are deployed, the costs would reach between $350 and $570 million per month and $4.2 to $6.8 billion per year.
“If operations expand significantly to include the deployment of 25,000 U.S. troops on the ground, as some have recommended, costs would likely reach $1.1 to $1.8 billion per month,” revealed the report.
That scenario would bring the yearly cost to between $13 and $22 billion.
“These estimates do not include the costs of humanitarian relief operations, weapons supplied to partner forces, training of partner forces out of theater, allied contributions to air and ground operations, covert operations, or the attrition and depreciation of major U.S. weapon platforms,” noted the analysis.