You Drop It, You Pay for It
news.com reports that:
Australia is to be billed several million dollars by the United States for bombs dropped on Iraq.
Weeks after George W. Bush's public thank you to John Howard, the bills are due to arrive – including the cost of US food eaten by some Diggers.
What has me puzzled is this section of the report:
The Australian Defence Force is now being asked to share the costs for its part in toppling Saddam Hussein under the "user-pays" principle of modern warfare.
Australian jet fighters fired a number of US laser-guided bombs – each worth a five-figure sum.
The F/A-18 Hornets flew 350 combat missions, dropping 122 precision-guided weapons.
ADF officials will not specify the types or quantity of bombs dropped.
But defence analysts believe they include US-owned MK84s and GBU-series 220kg and 907kg weapons, worth $28,800 and $35,900 respectively. [My emphasis]
Does this mean that we're being billed for US-owned bombs that the RAAF dropped for the US military, or that we got them on one of those "90 Days Interest Free" deals or what? It's obviously too late to argue about the cooling off period but, given the amounts involved we should at least insist on having the cost of any unexploded bombs that we may have dropped taken off the bill.
For the Record: James Russell beat me to this item by a good two days. Excuse me while I go wipe the egg off my face.