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Stunted By Reality Just another know-it-all talking about life, business, technology, sports and music.

23Mar/11Off

Propaganda, counter-propaganda and the cost of war on Gaddafi

With all the reporting that has been going on you'd think that Colonel Gaddafi is the only one who has been cranking the propaganda machine.

A few hours after enforcement of the 'no-fly zone' started with the bombing of Libyan positions that are not controlled by the rebels, it was reported that each cruise missile cost £500,000. By the second night a hundred had been fired. Mostly by the Americans, but I'm sure you get the illustration if you're doing the math by now.

Being that I'm sad enough to have my alarm clock tuned into BBC Radio 4 permanently, this morning I woke up to reports that George Osborne and the UK government were playing down the cost of this war to the UK tax payer and claiming that it would be no more than the low tens of millions. An hour later a spin doctor was duly dispatched onto The Today programme and tried to explain away this absurdly low figure whilst putting in the obligatory fast talk, in-lieu of small print. A double glazing sales man would have been proud.

So why was the forecast so low? It turns out that the missiles being used in Libya are part of the Royal Navy's stock and had already been purchased prior to the Middle Eastern revolutions. It's a shame to say that the presenter didn't then fire back the obvious question that popped into my head i.e.

Are those missiles not going to be replaced at some point, presumably for invading yet another former 'ally' in an oil rich country? And if they are going to be replaced, why is that cost not going to be added to the cost of this war?

Military think-tank/creative accounting department

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