Libya/Syria — Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

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Cost of bombing Libya massively under-estimated

Last month, before the parliamentary vote on whether to bomb Syria, British Chancellor George Osborne publicly stated that the cost of extending air strikes against Islamic State into Syria would run in the “low tens of millions of pounds”.

Reuters (December 1st 2015 Osborne referring to the bombing of Syria) — “I think the estimate of extended air action over Syria would be in the low tens of millions of pounds. That’ll come out of the special reserve which we established for the purposes of military action like this.” Osborne told a committee of lawmakers.

Reuters (March 23 2011 Osborne referring to the bombing of Libya) — “The cost of Britain’s involvement in military operations in Libya is likely to be measured in tens of millions of pounds rather than hundreds of millions, Chancellor George Osborne said on Tuesday. Osborne said the cost would be less than recent conflicts and would be fully met from contingency reserves rather than the defence ministry’s main budget”.

Same thing, different bloodbath.

Documents released from Westminster show the final statistics of the bombing campaign in Libya amounted to £320m. This included £50m spent on replacing spent weapons and munitions. These figures were clearly designed to disguise the truth from the British public.

It has since transpired, contrary to Osborne’s “tens of millions” prediction, that the actual total to Britain of bombing Libya is now estimated conservatively to be somewhere between £900 million and £1.25 billion.

We have a Chancellor in Britain who ‘miscalculated’ this campaign by around 1200%, give or take a few ‘tens of millions’. Any so-called ‘special monies’ set aside obliterated in days.

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