Syrian “Posturing” and It’s Unacknowledged Costs

“This massacre [Douma Chemical attack] was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime [Bashar al-Assad’s government].”

– POTUS, Donald J. Trump

With the most recent US military “precision strike” on Assad’s government in Syria, a cacophony of outrage erupted from the citizenry of the United States and rightly so. What was this? Yet another time-loop? Remind me who the president is, George Bush or Donald Trump? I just can’t tell at the moment. And again with these useless Middle-Eastern quagmires! What ever happened to America First? What happened to Make America Great Again? What happened to Trump from 2013 til now; back in 2013 he was decrying frivolous and ill-advised military adventurism, claiming that “many bad things” would be all the American People would get out of it. Bombing Syrians won’t make America Great again. Certainly not when our government does not even bother to present its alleged evidence of Assad’s supposed chemical weapons attack on his own people to the American public. As I covered in my previous article, Timeline of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Time-loop, there is no strategic motivation for Assad to gas his own people on the verge of him winning the civil war, especially when he knows that such action would bring about immediate international condemnation and likely military intervention. Furthermore there was no proof of such claims; but that is plain for all to see.

What is not so plain and obvious is the very real costs of these shows of force. There are financial considerations; for instance, recent Russian reports state that they tracked over 100 (Business Insider reports 118 missiles) cruise missiles, of varying kinds, from US, French and UK allied forces, during the Damascus exigency. The Syrian Arab Army reports that one of the waves of US missiles which they intercepted consisted of 30 air to ground tomahawk missiles, 28 of which were taken out. A individual modern tactical tomahawk missile, as of 2017, was priced by Raytheon Missile Systems (a principal weapons contractor for the US military) at $1.87 million (other accounts place this number at $1.59 million), which means that even if you were rah-rahing with the MAGApedes and NeoCons and NeoLiberal interventionists, the US is still out a cool $52.36 million dollars. If you consider the whole missile strike frivolous then that number grows and the financial loss for American taxpayers moves up to $56.1 million. Pair that with fuel expenditure, man-power financing, etc, etc, this number reaches astronomical sizes. Current conservative estimates place the total cost for the strike at around $165 million.

The considerably smaller missile strike which occurred last year in 2017 alone cost the US government approximately $93 million dollars. Hardly a productive usage of our countries capital. This is, of course, to say nothing of the loss in human lives. According to the most recent reports, the number of Syrians killed ranges from 4 to 6 (hard to confirm as the dust is still clearing; though, reasonably speaking, the number of civilian dead is likely much higher than these current numbers would suggest).

Some things to consider.

Kaiter Enless is a NMC columnist, fiction writer and the founder and administrator of TLC.

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