President Obama’s upcoming trip to Africa will require extraordinary security measures and will likely cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, according to a confidential planning document obtained by the Washington Post.
In addition to the hundreds of agents that will be required to secure the president when he visits Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania later this month, the Washington Post reports that military planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks’ worth of bullet-proof glass to cover the windows of the president’s hotels.
The security precautions go beyond the ground to the nearby seas and skies. The Post reports that an aircraft carrier with a fully staffed emergency medical center is being positioned nearby and that fighter jets will protect the president’s airspace 24 hours a day.
While the trip’s price tag remains unknown, President Clinton’s visit to Africa in 1998 cost the federal government at least $42.7 million, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Obama’s expensive trip, the cost of which is in line with previous presidential trips to Africa, comes as federal agencies are grappling with across-the-board spending cuts.
The costly security measures are reportedly due in part to the fact that the White House will have to rely more heavily on U.S. resources rather than those provided by local officials in Africa.