Gates Puts Cost of Libya Mission at $750 Million

“WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on Thursday that the air offensive in Libya had cost the Pentagon $750 million so far, more than originally expected for a conflict that Mr. Gates said he had never imagined the United States would enter.

In comparison, the war in Afghanistan costs the United States $100 billion a year. But unlike those costs, which are paid from a supplemental contingency fund, the expenses for Libya come out of the Pentagon budget.

“We’re fundamentally having to eat that one,” Mr. Gates told the Marines.

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