The United States is spending around $27 million a week to maintain its increased naval presence in the Middle East as American warships lie in wait for an attack on Syria if ordered.
According to US Navy officials, it costs the Pentagon some $25 million per week to keep two US aircraft carrier strike groups as well as another two million dollars a week for each destroyer deployed to the eastern Mediterranean. On September 10, President Barack Obama addressed the United States on Syria in an attempt to win public support for an attack on Syria. The US president said the military must maintain its presence and be ready for the strike. Following the remarks by Obama, US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the warships stationed in the Mediterranean were prepared to strike Syria if ordered by the president. However, he said budget cuts threaten the possibility of a US military operation against Syria. Washington has based its recent threat of striking Syria on the unsubstantiated accusation that the Syrian government was behind a chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21. The Syrian government has categorically rejected the allegation. Obama’s top aide, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, has also admitted that Washington’s claims are based on a “common-sense test” and that the Obama administration lacks “irrefutable beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence” for the allegation. The US president asked Congress on September 10 to delay a vote on authorizing military action against Syria after Russia proposed Damascus to place its chemical weapons under international supervision. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that Damascus will in a few days submit to the United Nations all documents needed for joining the Chemical Weapons Convention, urging Washington to stop supplying arms to Takfiri militants in Syria if it wants the Russian proposal to work.