How much does this message cost?

We are about to bomb Syria to “send a message,” I will like to know what is the actual price tag on this message before we send it. How many millions-or more likely hundreds of millions-will this message cost taxpayers? I have seen no estimates and little discussions about the financial aspect of this move.

Before the President or Congress does almost anything else the question of cost is always forefront. If the President wanted to send a message that we are against AIDS, the cost of the medicine we are sending would appear prominently in any article about it. If Congress wanted to show we think earthquakes in other countries are a tragedy, the price tag of the relief package would be a core issue. If the President proposed a war on childhood hunger, the first question would likely be about funding. The CBO score is the big focus point of almost every bill.

Only when it comes to bombs does cost never figure into the discussion. Money for war always seems to come from a magic endless pot of gold.

The projected price of a military action is almost never revealed ahead of time to inform the discussion. It is the one issue we don’t hear about, estimates of the cost in advance.

Given how incredibly unpopular intervention in Syria is, I image the vast majority of Americans would rather the millions be spent on American roads rather than bombs.

Photo by Eric Kilby under Creative COmmons license