POLITICS

The U.S. Wants You To Know It's Great At Blowing Stuff Up With Its Ridiculously Expensive Toys

The United States and five Arab allies launched a military campaign in Syria this week, striking targets controlled by the Islamic State and the Khorasan Group, a small al Qaeda offshoot in Syria that was allegedly plotting an attack against the United States. Hours after missiles were launched from both air and sea, the American military released a set of images and video footage, excitedly showing the first effects of the operation.

During the first wave of strikes, 160 munitions were reportedly fired at 14 targets inside Syria. The operation included the firing of 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. Navy destroyers, as well as airstrikes by American and allied jets. It also featured the highly anticipated debut of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, an aircraft that had never flown in a combat operation before, despite costing the Pentagon around $67 billion to develop and build. That's a cost of about $412 million per plane, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Daily Beast tallied up the total cost of the first day of the mission, including missiles and flight time for the entire strike package, and estimated the operations were worth about $79 million. Pentagon officials promised that it would be just the beginning of a prolonged campaign that could take years to complete. If we're going to be getting into another war with no defined end, the U.S. military wants taxpayers to know that their annual IRS checks are at least buying supremacy (not that this has guaranteed results in the past).

  • The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke launches a Tomahawk cruise missile in the Red Sea, Sept. 23, 2014, to conduct
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II / U.S. Navy
    The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke launches a Tomahawk cruise missile in the Red Sea, Sept. 23, 2014, to conduct strikes against Islamic State targets.
  • The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea launches a Tomahawk cruise missile as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George
    Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Garst / U.S. Navy
    The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea launches a Tomahawk cruise missile as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf, Sept. 23, 2014.
  • U.S. sailors stand watch on the bridge while Tomahawk cruise missiles are launched aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Phil
    Petty Officer 2nd Class Abe McNatt / U.S. Navy
    U.S. sailors stand watch on the bridge while Tomahawk cruise missiles are launched aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea in the Persian Gulf, Sept. 23, 2014.
  • An EA-6B Prowler attached to the Garudas of Electronic Attack Squadron 134 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W.
    Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Stephens / U.S. Navy
    An EA-6B Prowler attached to the Garudas of Electronic Attack Squadron 134 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf after conducting strike missions against Islamic State targets, Sept. 23, 2014.
  • An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 31 and an F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadro
    Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Burck / U.S. Navy
    An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 31 and an F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 213 prepare to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf to conduct strike missions against Islamic State targets, Sept. 23, 2014.
  • An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 213 flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the P
    Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Stephens / U.S. Navy
    An F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 213 flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf after conducting strike missions against Islamic State targets, Sept. 23, 2014.
  • A before and after image of strikes on an Islamic State Command and Control center in Raqqah, Syria on Sep. 23, 2014.
    Department of Defense
    A before and after image of strikes on an Islamic State Command and Control center in Raqqah, Syria on Sep. 23, 2014.
  • A before and after image of strikes on an Islamic State finance center in Raqqah, Syria on Sep. 23, 2014.
    Department of Defense
    A before and after image of strikes on an Islamic State finance center in Raqqah, Syria on Sep. 23, 2014.
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