The Pentagon has determined that U.S. military involvement in Syria could cost billions of dollars, the New York Times reported Monday.
A letter from Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) described the logistics and costs of several military options available to the United States in aiding the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In his letter, Dempsey estimated the cost of training rebel troops in Syria at almost $500 million a year, while employing long-range strikes on military targets could wind up costing billions, according to the Times. Factor in a no-fly zone, and the costs would be even higher.
Dempsey wrote that in hypothetical efforts to thwart the use of chemical weapons, “thousands of Special Operations forces and other ground forces would be needed to assault and secure critical sites” at costs of over $1 billion per month, as quoted by the Times.