"This would come in under $100 million, if it goes off as advertised," said Gordon Adams, a professor at American University and a former defense official in the Clinton administration.
The mostly likely scenario for a punitive strike on Syria: land-attack cruise missiles launched from five U.S. Navy destroyers cruising in the eastern Mediterranean. That attack would be in response to the chemical-weapon attack that the Obama administration says killed 1,400 civilians, including 429 children.
Each of those sophisticated missiles, which fly as far as 1,000 miles, evade radar and explode within feet of their targets, cost about $1.1 million, according to the Navy. The destroyers generally carry dozens of them, Adams said.