Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Thursday 29 August 2013

Chemical weapons in Syria 2

The British Prime Minister has spoken to the House of Commons about punishing the Syrian regime for the use of chemical weapons.
Six fighter bombers have already left the UK to fly to Cyprus and a fleet including a missile firing submarine is already in the mediterranean. There can be no doubting their intent. More fire, death and destruction for the people of that benighted country.
If they are only interested in destroying the logistics of deploying these weapons, would it not be cheaper to supply the citizens of Damascus (1.7m) with gas masks?
I believe that Israel has supplied gas masks to its population and their military version costs $69 each. Say $120m.
Compared with this, the cost of military action, not counting the loss of life, is huge. It costs nearly $1.5m a day (see detail below) to run just one aircraft carrier. Add in a nuclear submarine or two, surface ships and support jets and the costs rack up considerably.
I also maintain that the supply of gas masks (paid for by the Arab League) rather than send a task force will not lead to an escalation of the tensions in the region. A task force would.

Aircraft carrier costs.
160 million per year just for the personnel.
Add aircraft fuel and maintenance parts, and you're looking at closer to $400 million per year.
add the cost of the carrier ($4.5 billion) and divide it over its lifetime (about 40 years) and you're looking at about $530,000,000 per year which is close to $1,450,000 per day.

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