Skip To Content

6 Things That Cost as Much as Israel’s New U.S. Military Aid Package

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.

(h/t Zack)

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 [email protected] or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.