The bill for American military reinforcements in the Middle East since the start of the Israeli war on… Gaza strip On October 7, $1.6 billion, which the US Department of Defense cannot afford (PentagonIt was paid due to the inability of American lawmakers to approve the budget, according to Politico newspaper, citing officials who preferred to remain anonymous.
The US Department of Defense recently sent its estimates to congressional officials in response to questions from Congress, according to the officials.
The total cost, according to officials, includes sending warships, fighter planes, and additional equipment to the region and keeping them for 4 months. However, it does not include the cost of the missiles that the US military used to strike Houthi sites in Yemen or shoot down drones and missiles in the area. The Red SeaBecause there is not yet enough data to make these calculations.
According to officials' estimates, the US military cost in the region may rise to $2.2 billion.
The inflation of US military expenditures in the region indicates the latest complication in the rapidly expanding conflict in the Middle East, according to the newspaper, which noted that details of the military cost are reaching Congress coinciding with the arrival of negotiations regarding the additional request submitted by the President. joe biden To get more than $100 billion in aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan to a pivotal point in the Senate.
As Israel began its war on the Gaza Strip, the Pentagon ordered an additional aircraft carrier strike group and amphibious ships carrying marines, fighter jets, air defenses, and hundreds of troops to the Middle East.
According to the newspaper, these forces initially worked to deter additional parties from getting involved in the conflict, and more recently they protected ships in the Red Sea from Houthi attacks.
But the American newspaper reported – in November – that since lawmakers have not yet agreed on a draft spending bill for the Ministry of Defense for the entire year, the army does not have the funds necessary to pay for these unplanned operations.
It quoted one of the officials as saying, “I think it will be a gap that we want to fill… It is an outstanding bill and we will have to pay it within a limited amount of resources.”
Lawmakers are aware of the unplanned cost and are thinking about how to pay it. According to the newspaper, the options include adding it to the annual spending bill, or to the additional emergency amount of $111 billion for Ukraine and Israel, or financing it through an additional stand-alone amount to cover the costs of the war.
Senior members of Congress, including the officials charged with negotiating the massive aid package and year-long government funding agreement, did not agree on whether funding for the Middle East should be included in the additional funding.
The newspaper quoted Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Democrat from Washington) as saying, “We are currently negotiating all of these expenses… I want to see the whole picture before I answer” about whether this spending should be included.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed warned that Congress may need to consider a second round of funding, saying: “I feel, given the unexpected cost, that it would be necessary to have a separate additional amount… These are not routine costs.” It's because of our response to disruption Houthi group Yemeni ship passage in the Red Sea, Iranian malicious behavior, etc. And I think this is what we will probably go to,” according to what the newspaper reported.
The Senate and House also still must reach an agreement to fund the entire government for the rest of fiscal year 2024, and congressional leaders now aim to finalize federal funding by March, which could be a way to further direct allocations in the Middle East, according to Politico. .
It quoted Senator Jon Tester (Democrat) – who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee that controls most of the Pentagon's spending – as saying that the regular appropriations bill is the path he chooses.
“We have to first pass the supplementary procedures, and then have these talks,” he added.
But Susan Collins, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the military cannot wait, adding: “They need it urgently… They are running out of money fast.”
The cost of supporting unplanned operations in the Middle East associated with the 120-day period between October and January amounts to $1.6 billion, and its details are as follows, according to the newspaper:
- $29.2 million in military personnel costs.
- $708.6 million for operations and maintenance.
- $528.4 million for the purchases account.
- $51.9 million in research, development, test and evaluation.
- $248.5 million for transportation, drawn from the Department of Transportation's working capital fund.
According to Pentagon forecasts mentioned by the newspaper, the cost of maintaining these operations for a full year is estimated at about $2.2 billion, and its details are as follows:
- $47.2 million for military personnel.
- $940.7 million for operations and maintenance.
- $531.4 million for purchases.
- $96.1 million for research, development, test and evaluation.
- $549.8 million for transportation.