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ISIS Battle: Little Immediate Impact on U.S. Military Budget

Navy Times reports that “President Obama’s new strategy for confronting the extremists known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is unlikely to have an immediate impact on the U.S. military’s operational tempo or overall budget.”  

“But his new goal to ‘degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy’ does appear to meet the Pentagon’s own definition of ‘mission creep.’”  

The piece continues: “… militarily, the new mission the president outlined will not necessarily affect the Defense Department’s budget planning, a key issue on the minds of many service members as the Pentagon seeks to scale back the natural growth of pay and benefits during the next several years.”  

“Defense officials say this summer’s operations in Iraq have cost an average of about $7.5 million a day. Outside experts estimate that it costs the Pentagon between $600,000 and $1 million to deploy one service member for one year. So back-of-the-envelope estimates for the military operations Obama outlined Wednesday might amount to no more than a few billion dollars a year, or a small fraction of the overall defense budget and substantially smaller than the current operations in Afghanistan.”

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