The tab includes money spent on sending additional warships, fighter jets, and equipment to the region and maintaining their presence. It does not include the cost of the missiles used to strike Houthi positions in Yemen or to down drones and other missiles in the Red Sea.
In total, so far, $29.2 million has been spent on military personnel costs; $708.6 million on operations and maintenance; $528.4 million on procurement; $51.9 million on research, development, testing, and evaluation; and $248.5 million on transportation.
The Pentagon admitted last year that it does not have the funds to pay for the Middle East buildup due to ongoing budget negotiations in Congress. Although Congress recently passed a temporary measure to avoid a government shutdown, military appropriations have yet to be authorized.
Congressional appropriators received the estimated bill from the Department of Defense in response to inquiries about the rising cost of the country’s increasing military involvement in the region. The estimate suggests the total cost could rise to $2.2 billion over a full year.
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