ABC News’ Luis Martinez (@LMartinezABC) reports: The cost of U.S. military intervention in Libya has cost American taxpayers an estimated $896 million through July 31, the Pentagon said today.
The price tag includes the amounts for daily military operations, munitions used in the operation and humanitarian assistance for the Libyan people.
The U.S. has also promised $25 million in non-lethal aid to the Libyan Transitional National Council, half of which the Defense Department has already on MRE’s (military lingo for Meals, Ready to Eat).
The military delivered 120,000 Halal MRE’s to Benghazi in May and a second shipment that included medical supplies, boots, tents, uniforms, and personal protective gear in June.
While Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appears on the way out, NATO says flight missions over Tripoli will continue, with the U.S. playing a role in helping to keep a tight window over the area that’s been in effect for weeks.
Over the past 12 days, U.S. planes have flown 391 sorties for a total of 5,316 since April 1, according to figures provided by the Defense Department. That total includes 1,210 airstrike missions over the same three and a half month period. The U.S. has also conducted 101 Predator drone strike missions in Libya.
A U.S. official credited NATO flight cover over the past many months with allowing the Libyan rebels enough time to eventually regroup and begin their pushes.
One significant offset to the cost of U.S. involvement in the flights worth noting is the sale of military equipment to allies also involved in the cause. Pentagon officials say the sale of ammunition, replacement parts, fuel, and technical assistance to allies since March has totaled $221.9 million.