Libyan Air Strikes Costly for U.S. Taxpayers

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The U.S. military's involvement in the crisis in Libya has already cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Coalition forces fired 162 Tomahawk cruise missiles priced at $1 million to $1.5 million a piece during the campaign and dispatched B2 stealth bombers that cost $10,000 to fly round trip.

Other weapons like warplanes, Navy ships and submarines are involved in the operation.

As coaliton forces continue bombing the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi appeared on state TV to denounce the attacks.

Many of the Libyan people welcomed the coalition's action to establish a no-fly zone over the North African nation.

"If they don't come to help us, Benghazi would be lost," said Gebril Hewadi, a doctor at Benghazi hospital.

While it is still unclear who will take charge of the no-fly zone in coming days, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will step aside soon.

"We are going to be in the process now, having eliminated his air defenses, of being able to bring the international coalition in," Obama said.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News's Diane Sawyer, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed optimism about an early handover.

"NATO will be definitely involved, because we do have a lot of NATO members who are committed to this process," Clinton said. "And you know, they want to see command and control that is organized."

Yet, she refused to say that removing Gadhafi from power is an objective.

"I don't want to make any predictions, because we 're taking this one step at a time," she added. "I don't want to jump beyond where we are right now."

Meanwhile, Obama will face hostility from some members of Congress when he returns from his trip to South America on Wednesday.

CBN News White House Correspondent Jennifer Wishon reported that both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are frustrated with the president's actions concerning Libya.

"Both parties are also upset the president didn't Consult congress before sending U.S. troops to lead the international coalition," Wishon said. "Under the Constitution, the power to declare war lies with Congress."

Obama said the U.S. involvement in Libya will end sometime this week.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.