Pentagon estimates Libya costs at $608 million

Posted April 12, 2011, at 8:18 p.m.

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Monday the military intervention in Libya cost the U.S. an estimated $608 million in the first few of weeks of the operation. Spending is down significantly, though not as much as expected.

Defense Department spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler said the price tag is for spending through April 4 — or for 17 days of the mission, the most recent figure available.

Officials said the number includes pay and other normal deployment costs.

The $608 million estimate shows a large drop from what the U.S. spent in the early days of the multinational operation that started March 19 — roughly $55 million a day in the first 10 days, then about $8.3 million a day in the seven that followed.