The Cost of the Libyan War

Moral and Legal Authority

A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions.  The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.

 The Cost of the Libyan War

Only President Obama has authorized the Libyan War, which is becoming very expensive.  It’s estimated to cost two million dollars per day, and America hs the greatest participation and expense, according to the Financial Times

Although it is working under Nato, the US is by far the largest contributor to operation Unified Protector. As of mid-May it was conducting 70 per cent of reconnaissance missions, over 75 per cent of refuelling flights and 27 per cent of all air sorties.

The US has about 75 aircraft, including drones, involved in the operations and since the end of March has conducted about 2,600 aircraft sorties and about 600 combat sorties. In addition the US military can call on a number of naval assets in the Mediterranean.

As well as its contribution to the Nato operation, US spending on Libya includes its twelve day operation Odyssey Dawn that took place before Nato took over.

In total the US military has fired about 228 missiles as of mid-May. For comparison the US Navy plans to buy 196 or so missiles this year for about $300m or about $1.5m each, according to US budget documents.

The actions and money spent on this war has occurred on the orders of our President and Cheif, Barrack Obama.  Of course, President Obama and his administration claim this is not a war but a kinetic action.  Read:  White House: Libya fight is not war, it’s ‘kinetic military action’  

Additionally, President Obama has claimed recently that this action is now non-kinetic. Therefore, he does not need to comply with the War Powers Act, which limits hostile actions to emergencies and 60 days before Congressional approval is required. 

The independent action and obfuscation is wrong and unethical.  Even worse is government’s contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law.  President Obama has disrespected and insulted the plain words and the intent of the Constitution of the United States.

Our Founders feared the abuse of governmental power.  Our Founders studied history, especially Greek, Roman and English history, and observed that governmental power was often evilly exploited.  Thus, the Constitution of the United States decrees that no single person should have the power to declare war.  It also vests that power to Congress, and Congress has not authorized this war.

As stated in a previous blog:  

A magnificent America asset is our adherence to the rule of law.  Written rules, universally applied and enforced, protect people and their property.  The guarantee of the rule of law allows everyone to confidently exchange ideas, goods and services.  Americans and the people of the world trust America’s stable and predictable legal order. Pursuant to written and transparent rules, America strives to treat everyone equally under the law. This is the reason the dollar is the world’s currency, and Americans and foreigners invest in American bonds, equities and land.  America is exceptional and the strongest country in the world because America honors and adheres to the rule of law. 

Reprehensibly, President Obama has unilaterally directed the bombing of Libya, which will cost billions.  This is wrong, but the egregious wrong is his proclamation to the world, that this President and America do not follow their own rules.

 Every violation of America’s duly promulgated written rules, weakens everyone’s respect and expectation for a stable and predicable legal order.  President Obama and Congress have repeatedly violated the rules they have sworn to uphold, thus eroding confidence and respect for protection under the law – America’s greatest asset and contribution to human freedom.