Syria missile attack: The financial side

I have left a few comments on other blogs about this recent event, so I decided that I also ought to write something about it on here.

I looked up the cost of that operation. Fifty-nine cruise missiles = $94,000,000. The amount needed to replace them? Around $100,000,000. Factor in the costs involved in the preparation of the attack, use of warships, and the other logistical issues, and the total is something like $200,000,000. Yes, that is two hundred million dollars.

I would have to consult those better qualified than me, but I imagine that many good things could have been done in America, with that amount of money. It costs a bit less than $100,000,000 to build a very good hospital. So that’s two and a bit great new hospitals that could have been created in some poor districts of the US. A large new high school costs about $40,000,000 to construct. So, that money could have gone to building five good schools, to help educate the children of America.

It costs less than $40,000 dollars to buy a decent-sized electric car in the US. So more than 5,000 electric vehicles could have been bought and supplied to government agencies, to help reduce pollution. I could keep going on. Flood defences, new homes for those in need, solar panels, medical research, palliative care, and so on…Even in 2017, $200,000,000 is a great deal of money, and it could, and should, have been put to better use.

So, who wins? Not the six Syrians killed in the attack. Not the rebel fighters, who still can’t beat Assad. Not the civilians, who will be caught up in just as many future battles. Not the reputation of the US military, which failed to render the airfield unusable, or even to destroy all the aircraft kept there. Not the citizens of nations all across the world, who now fear that this escalation could lead to an all-out war between Russia and NATO.

Let’s consider the possible ‘winners’ who emerge from this situation.

Assad can now claim that his sovereign nation was attacked by a foreign power. And he will be telling the truth, like it or not.
ISIS continues to operate as if nothing has happened, no doubt cheered by the thought that the US might remove Assad, leaving the way open for them to take control in the future.
The arms companies will be happy, as they make more profit from selling at least another fifty-nine cruise missiles. And that’s only the beginning of an increase in the ringing of their cash registers.
Then there are those companies involved in post-war ‘reconstruction’ and security, companies like Halliburton. They will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of another Iraq to come.

Then there is Mr Trump of course. After being under sustained attack from the American media, and failing to get the support he needed from a large section of his own population, the President has finally done something. Whether this was at the suggestion of the hawks in his own military, or his own doing, is of no matter. He is now being seen as decisive. A man of action. The American version of Putin. A strong leader, unafraid to take the moral high ground, even if that moral high ground involves using hundreds of millions of dollars worth of explosives.

And if that action helps his friends in big business, so much the better.



  1. Eddy Winko

    Madness! And I’m surprised at how little condemnation there has been, apparently other world leaders support this action, has Trump now entered the world stage by pressing a button? I hope not, we all know how much he likes to feed his ego and he has quite an appetite not to mention buttons to press. If he sees this as a way to gain approval then god help us (and we get little help from him or her)

    Liked by 1 person

    • beetleypete

      Other leaders are certainly going to have to take him more seriously, like it or not.
      I doubt he intends to plunge the planet into all-out nuclear war just yet, but he has certainly raised the stakes against everyone else.
      Cheers, Pete.


  2. democratizemoney

    Good Morning Pete:
    $200,000,000 would pay for 20 weekends for the pestilence to haul his ass to Florida and play golf. So this weekend is just more expensive than most for the pestilence. I do not mean to be flippant. As I have said elsewhere: ” I do not oppose the pestilence lobbing cruise missiles at Syria because the pestilence did it. Unfortunately, it was an attack on a sovereign nation–an act of war and violation of the treaty we signed in joining the United Nations. Under our Constitution, the President does not have the power to declare a war (commit an act of war unless we have been attacked). Congress has that power. So he violated Article I, Section 8 by usurping Congress’ power. The Constitution further stipulates that Treaties are Supreme law of the land, Article V Clause 2. While this usually means that treaties are superior to State Laws, it also means they must be treated as the same status as a law that is to be administered and upheld by the president. So he violated the equivalent of a Federal Statute when he lobbed those missiles. This act is further evidence that the pestilence has not familiarized himself with the Constitution (probably not read it). And it demonstrated that he does not understand the notion of rule of law (following the rules).
    In the simplest terms, the act of lobbing missiles is a violation of his oath to uphold the Constitution on two grounds. So, any attempt to argue it is a good thing for this or that reason is simply glossing over an “ends justify the means” assertion of a violation of an oath.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 2 people

    • beetleypete

      Good to read the constitutional issues involved, Theo. Looks like he has disregarded those completely.
      We have not seen much about the reaction of the ‘man in the street’ in America. Do you expect Trump to be boosted by this action, or will he face censure?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Doug (

      Well, Theo, if anyone in Congress wishes to take on the president regarding his decision to bomb without Congressional “permission”, and it removes him from office, I’m all for it. But that rule itself has been a disputed item for presidents going way back. The ultimate control rests with Congress in approving, or not, financial support for longer engagements. A punitive missile strike here or there hasn’t generally resulted in an escalated war… generally. One exception might be the Gulf of Tonkin incident where President Johnson declared a couple North Vietnamese patrol boats firing on a U.S. warship and act of war worth landing Marines in Vietnam to stop the “communist horde”. The rest of that story is history. Again, generally speaking, the use of the military for short term strikes could also be defined as a measure of “diplomacy” and a lot less about being in any way an overt and strategic military strategy.
      But,, if that get him out of office, I’m all for it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Doug (

        To follow up on my reply here… this air strike strike was “language”.. a method of communication, nothing more. It is a diplomatic language between Trump and Assad mostly, and not saber rattling.. and it’s very important to understand the difference. What the other players in the area wish to interpret from it is up to them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. toritto

    Hi Pete – He also did it to divert attention from on-going investigations into connections between his campaign and Russian operatives. And to chest thump to his base. I gave up. I can’t write about it.

    Regards from Florida

    Liked by 2 people

    • beetleypete

      I get you, Frank. I am mainly writing about it because it looks like we might be following in on the US coat tails once again.
      These constant repetitions of history are even more wearing as you get older.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Doug (

        The bitch about our respective countries being good buddies generally means the politics, absurd as that can get on either side of the pond at times…. will tend to spill over onto each other. History does repeat itself as you say. Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

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