Panama: Cost of the U.S. Invasion of Panama

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-13.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                     United   States   General   Accounting   Office
                     Fact Sheet for the Honorable
GAO                  Andrew Jacobs, Jr., House of

September   1990
                     Cost of the U.S.
                     Invasion of Panama

                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548

                   National Security and
                   International Affairs Division


                   September 13,199O

                   The Honorable Andrew Jacobs, Jr.
                   House of Representatives

                   Dear Mr. Jacobs:

                   In response to your request, we obtained data from the Defense Depart-
                   ment on the estimated incremental cost of the U.S. invasion of Panama.
                   It represents the cost over and above the cost for normal operations for
                   each service participating in the invasion. Defense Department officials
                   advised us that certain costs, such as regular military pay, would have
                   been incurred whether the troops were in Panama or stationed at a mili-
                   tary installation in the United States.

                   Initial planning for the U.S. invasion of Panama, known as Operation
Background         Just Cause, began in October 1989, and on December 17,1989, the Presi-
                   dent made the decision to invade Panama. The operation was carried out
                   between December 20,1989, and January 31,199O. Although primarily
                   an Army operation, each of the military services was involved. Military
                   units stationed in Panama as well as units from the United States partic-
                   ipated. Conventional Army units, such as the 82nd Airborne Division,
                   the 7th Light Infantry Division, the 75th Ranger Battalion, and the
                   193rd Infantry Division, and special operations forces of all the military
                   services collaborated in the invasion.

                   The Defense Department estimates that the incremental cost associated
Results in Brief   with Operation Just Cause was about $163.6 million: $155.0 million for
                   the Army, $5.7 million for the Air Force, and $2.9 million for the Navy
                   (see table 1). A Defense Department official advised us that the Depart-
                   ment has not requested additional funds to cover this cost but plans to
                   reprogram funds from existing resources in other appropriation

                   Page 1                                GAO/NSIALHW279FS   U.S. Invasion   of Panama

Table 1: Estimated Incremental Cost of
Operation Just Cause                     Dollars   in millions
                                                                               Operations           Military ,p;$
                                         Military service                    maintenances          allowancesb       ProcurementC              Total
                                         Army                                          $113.1               $27.1               $14.8        $155.0
                                         Air Force                                         3.1                2.2                  0.4           5.7
                                         Navy (incl. Marine Corps)                         2.6                0.2                  0.1           2.9
                                         Total                                        $118.8                $29.5               $15.3        $163.6
                                         Note: Table 1 rncludes costs for expenses incurred prior to the actual invasion, e.g., practice missions,
                                         dependent evacuation, etc.
                                         aOperations and maintenance include such costs as the deployment and redeployment of active and
                                         reserve forces, medical supplies, and other personnel-related activities.
                                         bMilrtary pay and allowances include such costs as immanent danger pay, family separation allowances,
                                         and quarters allowances.

                                         CProcurement includes costs to replace aircraft and vehicles lost during the invasion and costs for

                                         We met with Defense Department officials and military service repre-
Scope and                                sentatives and obtained estimates of the incremental costs incurred by
Methodology                              each of the military services for the invasion. We did not independently
                                         verify these estimates but relied on the services for the accuracy and
                                         completeness of the data. In addition, staff from the Joint Chiefs of
                                         Staff briefed us on Operation Just Cause.

                                         We conducted our work between June and August 1990.

                                         We did not obtain written agency comments on this fact sheet, but we
                                         discussed its contents with responsible agency officials.

                                         We are sending copies of this fact sheet to the Secretaries of Defense and
                                         State; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; and other inter-
                                         ested parties.

                                         Page 2                                                  GAO/NSLAD-90-279FY3      U.S. Invasion   of Panama

           Please contact me on (202) 2754128 if you or your staff have any ques-
           tions on this report. The major contributors to this fact sheet were
           Charles Schuler, Assistant Director, and Ronald Hughes, Senior

           Sincerely yours,

           Joseph E. Kelley
           Director, Security and International
             Relations Issues

(495296)   Page 3                                 GAO/NSIAIMO-279FS   U.S. Invasion   of Panama
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