Upfront Costs

Implementing a no-fly zone over Libya would cost US taxpayers many millions, if not billions, of dollars, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. In fact, enforcing an NFZ would cost between $15 million and $300 million per week, depending on the approach taken, states Selected Options and Costs for a No-Fly Zone over Libya, CSBA’s newly issued report (full document; caution, large file). These findings are based on the costs of previous flight-exclusion zones, such as those over much of Iraq during the 1990s and early 2000s. The Defense Department continues to mull the possibility of instituting an NFZ over Libya. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Monday the high operational tempo in Afghanistan would not prevent the United States from conducting such an operation, but he reiterated the need for NATO to cooperate in this regard. Continue to Price of Exclusion.