The Costs of Anti-ISIS Operations

Although the Pentagon has not come up with an official name for its air campaign against ISIS terrorists in Iraq and now Syria, the operations costs are mounting, and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments has released a report tallying the numbers. Through Sept. 24, the costs amounted to between $780 million and $930 million, according to the think tank’s Sept. 29 report. CSBA analysts Todd Harrison, John Stillion, Eric Lindsey, and Jacob Cohn authored the work. These costs include training and advising Iraqi and Kurdish forces, humanitarian airlift, intelligence gathering, airstrikes, and support activity. But future operations are harder to peg, and assuming a “moderate” level of air activity and support to around 2,000 deployed forces in operations centers, DOD would pay between $200 million and $320 million a month going forward, they wrote. Carried forward, this puts costs for a year from $2.4 billion to $3.8 billion. If the operations tempo picks up, costs could rise to between $350 million and $570 million a month, which could run from $4.2 billion to $6.8 billion a year, they stated.