WASHINGTON — US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday the cost of the air war in Libya for the United States is roughly $750 million.
“It’s probably at this point somewhere in the ballpark of 750 million dollars,” Gates told US Marines during a visit to the Camp Lejeune base in North Carolina.
The Pentagon had previously estimated the operation had cost the US military $604 million from the start of international air strikes on March 19 to April 4.
Officials had also predicted that the price tag for the operation would be about $40 million per month.
The figure cited by Gates suggested the cost of the war might be rising higher than anticipated but the Pentagon insisted that was not the case.
“The numbers are not higher than expected. We are still on track,” said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan.
Since the beginning of April, the United States has taken on a supporting role in the NATO-led campaign, providing refueling tankers and surveillance aircraft but not fighter jets.
Starting on April 21, the United States also provided two unmanned Predator drones to join in air strikes against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime.