The US War on ISIS Is Costing a Fortune

More than a year and a half and $6.2 billion later, there’s no end in sight.


It’s been a year and a half since the United States launched Operation Inherent Resolve, unofficially declaring war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The numbers are already staggering: As of January 31, after 542 days of airstrikes, the cost of the campaign reached $6.2 billion, or about $480,000 for every hour of the campaign. And the expenses are set to grow: The Pentagon is asking for another $7.5 billion to continue battling ISIS—double the amount requested for 2016.

Beyond the money, the war itself is ramping up, including more airstrikes with fewer restrictions on civilian casualties and more special-forces troops on the ground. The scope of the battle has also expanded to Afghanistan and Libya (where last Friday airstrikes hit an ISIS camp). And as plans are being drawn up for major battles to recapture the ISIS strongholds of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, there are calls for more US troops to be deployed in combat or advisory roles.

As Operation Inherent Resolve continues to escalate, here’s a closer look at some of the stats behind America’s war on ISIS.  

 

 

So far, 37,000 bombs and missiles have been dropped, and 20,000 ISIS fighters have been killed, according to the Pentagon. US-led airstrikes wiped out hundreds of oil infrastructure targets and a cash storage facility believed to have contained millions of dollars crucial to ISIS’s operations. The bombing has also taken a toll on civilians, though the actual numbers remain contentious.

US planes have dropped so many bombs and missiles on ISIS that the Air Force chief of staff has said the Air Force is “expending munitions faster than we can replenish them.”

Officially, 3,650 American troops and contractors are currently involved in the campaign against ISIS. The actual number may be closer to 6,000.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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