The Cost of Military Intervention in Syria

Explosion in beirut on 2006-08-13

Photo by Patrick Abi Salloum

President Obama and Congress are contemplating a strike on Syria.  While some estimates put the cost of a strike at $100 million, the truth is that no one knows how much military intervention will cost – just as, in 2003, no one could have predicted the cost of the Iraq war.

U.S. forces would use Tomahawk Cruise Missiles to attack Syria. On our brand-new Cost of National Security site, you can see the real-time cost of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile program. In 2013, the program is projected to cost U.S. taxpayers $320 million – or $36,563 every hour. That cost would spike if the U.S. military ultimately fired hundreds of missiles at Syria, as it did in Libya in 2011. Here's how much taxpayers are currently spending on Tomahawk missiles:


Back in 2003, Bush administration officials projected $60 billion as a high-end estimate for the Iraq war. How much has that war actually cost us?


As you can see, U.S. taxpayers are still spending money on the Iraq war – including $7 billion in 2013 alone. How much will intervention in Syria cost? The truth is that no one knows.