Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A tank belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi explodes after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20, 2011. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
More than $100 million on the first day - $14 trillion and counting.
With U.N. coalition forces bombarding Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi from the sea and air, the United States’ part in the operation could ultimately hit several billion dollars -- and require the Pentagon to request emergency funding from Congress to pay for it.
The first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn had a price tag that was well over $100 million for the U.S. in missiles alone. And the U.S. military, which remains in the lead now in its third day, has pumped millions more into air- and sea-launched strikes targeting air-defense sites and ground-force positions along Libya’s coastline.
The Pentagon has the money in its budget to cover unexpected contingencies and can also use fourth-quarter dollars to cover the costs of operations now. “They’re very used to doing this operation where they borrow from Peter to pay Paul,” said Gordon Adams, who served as the Office of Management and Budget’s associate director for national security during the Clinton administration.
However, there comes a point when there simply isn’t enough cash to pay for everything. The White House said on Monday it was not prepared to request emergency funding yet, but former Pentagon comptroller Dov Zakheim estimated that the Defense Department would need to send a request for supplemental funding to Capitol Hill if the U.S. military’s share of Libya operations expenses tops $1 billion.
"The operation in Libya is being funded with existing resources at this point. We are not planning to request a supplemental at this time," said Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget.
Such a request would likely be met with mixed reactions in a Congress focused on deficit reduction. And while many key lawmakers have been agitating for action in Libya, others have been more reluctant and have urged the Obama administration to send them a declaration of war.
Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Richard Lugar, R-Ind., says Congress should have had the opportunity to weigh in on what he said will be “a very expensive operation, even in a limited way.”
Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Lugar said, “It’s a strange time in which almost all of our congressional days are spent talking about budget deficits, outrageous problems. And yet [at the] same time, all of this passes.”
These unanticipated costs come at a time when the Pentagon is putting pressure on Capitol Hill to pass its fiscal 2011 budget. Continuing to operate under a stopgap continuing resolution through September, senior Defense officials argue, would amount to a $23 billion cut to the military’s request for the current fiscal year, which began October 1. The Pentagon wants $708.3 billion for this year, including $159.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
|Gaddafi and former Prime Minster Tony Blair in happier times.|
Treasury will continue monitoring the National Oil Corporation’s operations in Libya. Should National Oil Corporation subsidiaries or facilities come under different ownership and control, Treasury may consider authorizing dealings with such entities.Here's the entire statement:
TREASURY IDENTIFIES 14 COMPANIES OWNED BY LIBYA’S NATIONAL OIL CORPORATION AS SUBJECT TO SANCTIONS
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today identified 14 companies owned by Libya’s National Oil Corporation, as subject to sanctions pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13566.
The National Oil Corporation is the centerpiece of Libya’s state-owned oil apparatus, and controls a network of companies involved in oil exploration, production, and sale. E.O. 13566 blocks all property and interests in property of the Government of Libya and its agencies, instrumentalities and controlled entities within U.S. jurisdiction, whether specifically identified by OFAC or not. U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in business with any Libyan state-owned entity. Today’s identifications are intended to aid financial institutions in meeting their obligations under E.O. 13566.
“The Libyan National Oil Corporation has been a primary funding source for the Qadhafi regime,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “Consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 1973, all governments should block the National Oil Corporation's assets and ensure that Qadhafi cannot use this network of companies to support his activities.”
Treasury will continue monitoring the National Oil Corporation’s operations in Libya. Should National Oil Corporation subsidiaries or facilities come under different ownership and control, Treasury may consider authorizing dealings with such entities.
OFAC identified the following as companies owned by of Libya’s National Oil Corporation:
1. Arabian Gulf Oil Company
2. Azzawiya Oil Refining Company
3. Brega Petroleum Marketing Company
4. Harouge Oil Operations
5. Jamahiriya Oil Well Fluids And Equipment
6. Mediterranean Oil Services Company
7. Mediterranean Oil Services GMBH
8. National Oil Fields and Terminals Catering Company
9. North African Geophysical Exploration Company
10. National Oil Wells Drilling and Workover Company
11. Ras Lanuf Oil And Gas Processing Company
12. Sirte Oil Company for Production Manufacturing of Oil and Gas
13. Zueitina Oil Company
14. Waha Oil Company