Libyan war cost $550 million so far, lawmaker says

WASHINGTON Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:54pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration estimates U.S. military operations in Libya have cost about $550 million so far and will cost about $40 million a month going forward, a U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday.

"It's about $550 million," said Norm Dicks, the senior Democrat on the House defense appropriations subcommittee. He spoke to reporters after a closed-door meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The officials estimated the operations would cost another $40 million between now and April 18, and then $40 million more a month after that, Dicks said.

The Pentagon said on Tuesday spending of $550 million so far on military operations in Libya would stabilize at $40 million per month once U.S. forces are reduced and NATO takes over greater control.