In Washington Wednesday, the United States promised $38 billion in military aid to Israel over the next ten years. In case that’s not enough, Haaretz reported that the U.S. is prepared to send even more should the need arise.
So how much money is $3.8 billion a year for ten years? An unfathomable amount of money. In the interest of helping you to fathom it, here are some things that cost $3.8 billion, give or take a few hundred million.
1. Running the country of Jamaica.
The government of Jamaica, which has a population of 2.9 million people, spends $3.8 billion a year.
2. A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
Five thousand sailors and airmen. Sixty airplanes. Two nuclear reactors. A hundred thousand tons of steel. The U.S. Navy’s ten Nimitz-class aircraft carriers cost $4.5 billion each to build, which sounds cheap when you consider that that’s about fourteen months worth of U.S. military aid to Israel.
3. A theoretical confederation of Mauritania and Greenland.
Let’s say Greenland chose to break away from Denmark and form a new transatlantic confederation with the West African nation of Mauritania. Their combined landmass would be equal to that of India, and their combined annual budgets would be $3.8 billion, which is how much Israel will get in military aid from the United States for each of the next ten years.
4. Nashville plus Jacksonville plus Louisville.
Horses and country music and jaguars are things associated with these three cities that I don’t know much about. What I do know is that, all together, the municipal governments of these three cities spend $3.6 billion a year, which is less than what Israel will receive in each of the next ten years in American military aid.
5. Real Madrid
Generalissimo Francisco Franco’s favorite soccer team, Real Madrid, is now the second-most-valuable sports franchise in the whole world. Led by the Spaniard Sergio Ramos and Brazilian legend Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid is worth $3.6 billion, which is a lot of money, but is still less than the $3.8 billion the U.S. will give Israel each year in military aid.
6. Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.
Comcast, Philly’s own cable behemoth, bought Shrek-creator Dreamworks Animation for $3.8 billion earlier this year, which means that the U.S. government could have bought thirty Madagascar features (Madagascar 22: Electric Boogaloo) for the price of one big fat Israel military aid package.
Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.