Pentagon Estimates Gaza Aid Pier Will Cost US Taxpayers $320M: Report
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) seal in the Pentagon Briefing Room in Arlington, Virginia., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. President Biden yesterday declared an end to two decades of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, offering an impassioned defense of his withdrawal and rejecting criticism that it was mishandled. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. military reportedly estimates that construction of a pier to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza will cost American taxpayers $320 million.

Defense Department officials recently increased the projected cost of the pier, a U.S. defense official and a source familiar told Reuters. An estimate calculated earlier this year placed the total cost at roughly half the latest estimate.

“The cost has not just risen. It has exploded,” Sen. Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Reuters. “This dangerous effort with marginal benefit will now cost the American taxpayers at least $320 million to operate the pier for only 90 days.”

Hamas fighters in Gaza reportedly fired mortars at Israeli forces near the “marshaling area” of the pier, which will go into full service in May, last week. While Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder said that the pier under construction is “nowhere near mortar range,” but the attack raises concerns about the risk to U.S. troops because of the operation, and raises questions over the possibility of a U.S. response if U.S. troops were to be caught up in a Hamas attack.

This has been an ill-conceived mission from the start. Every day when these ships have been in transit was another day terrorists in Gaza have been preparing to thwart their arrival. In any case, the risk to Americans will only intensify. President Biden should never have put our men and women in this position, and he should abandon this project immediately before any U.S. troops are injured,” Wicker said in a statement last week.

President Joe Biden announced in March that the U.S. would construct a pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip in the Mediterranean Sea to facilitate the importation of aid to Palestinians. Palestinian aid has been one of the priorities of the Biden administration’s approach to Israel’s war against Hamas, an Iranian-linked terror group that ruled Gaza prior to the war.

Biden has used the aid issue to increase pressure on Israel as it prepares to assault Rafah, Hamas’ last stronghold in Gaza. The Biden administration has leveraged U.S. support for Israel’s war effort for more humanitarian aid to Gazans.

Critics have said that the Biden administration’s push for aid to Gaza, whether through the pier or through its pressure on Israel, has prolonged the war effort and empowered Hamas.

“The House Oversight Committee has been sounding the alarm about U.S. aid to Gaza falling into the hands of terror groups, but it is falling on deaf ears with President Biden and his administration,” House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer of Kentucky said in a March statement slamming the proposed pier.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Pentagon Estimates Gaza Aid Pier Will Cost US Taxpayers $320M: Report