Home » The War In Afghanistan Cost America $300 Million Per Day For 20 Years, With Big Bills Yet To Come

The War In Afghanistan Cost America $300 Million Per Day For 20 Years, With Big Bills Yet To Come

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The Taliban, in a surprising blitzkrieg, have swept by means of Afghanistan in lower than a month, the 300,000-man Afghan military all however melting away of their path. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as he fled to Tajikistan over the weekend, conceded in an announcement that the Taliban had received, “with the judgment of their swords and weapons, and at the moment are liable for the honour, property and self-preservation of their countrymen.”

And what of the honour and property of Afghanistan’s erstwhile occupiers, america of America? At this time, hundreds of interpreters and their households await visas to the U.S., whereas Taliban fighters parade triumphantly in captured tanks and humvees paid for by Uncle Sam.

Within the 20 years since September 11, 2001, america has spent greater than $2 trillion on the struggle in Afghanistan. That’s $300 million {dollars} per day, each day, for twenty years. Or $50,000 for every of Afghanistan’s 40 million folks. In baser phrases, Uncle Sam has spent extra holding the Taliban at bay than the web worths of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Invoice Gates and the 30 richest billionaires in America, mixed.

These headline numbers embody $800 billion in direct war-fighting costs and $85 billion to coach the vanquished Afghan military, which folded within the weeks because the Pentagon’s sudden early July closure of Bagram Air Force Base eradicated the promise of air assist in opposition to the advancing Taliban. U.S. taxpayers have been giving Afghan troopers $750 million a yr in payroll. All instructed, Brown College’s Costs of War Project estimates the full spending at $2.26 trillion. 

And the prices are even higher when it comes to lives misplaced. There have been 2,500 U.S. army deaths in Afghanistan, and almost 4,000 extra U.S. civilian contractors killed. That pales beside the estimated 69,000 Afghan army police, 47,000 civilians killed, plus 51,000 lifeless opposition fighters. The fee to date to look after 20,000 U.S. casualties has been $300 billion, with one other half-trillion or so anticipated to come back.

We’ll maintain incurring prices lengthy after President Biden’s pullout from Afghanistan is full. Naturally, america has financed the Afghan struggle with borrowed cash. Brown College researchers estimate that greater than $500 billion in curiosity has already been paid (included within the $2.26 trillion complete sum), and so they determine that by 2050 the price of curiosity alone on our Afghan struggle debt may attain $6.5 trillion. That quantities to $20,000 for each U.S. citizen. 

Movies taken from the tarmac of the Kabul airport point out that the 6,000 U.S. troops despatched there haven’t been capable of set up a fringe even across the runways, the place Afghanis are proven crawling over each other to squeeze onto planes. One flight is reported to have carried 800 folks, with extra than 10,000 U.S. citizens said to nonetheless be awaiting evacuation and hundreds extra sheltering in place. Some had been so determined to flee Taliban rule that they clung to the touchdown gear of transports departing Kabul airport, only to fall to their deaths because the aircraft started its climb.

There’s even much less hope of escape for the era of Afghan girls and women who grew up in a considerably extra liberalized time, however now face obligatory burkas and evaporated prospects for training and employment (a continuation of the Taliban’s “War Against Women.”) There are an estimated 1.6 million extra girls employed in Afghanistan’s workforce than 20 years in the past. The Taliban guarantees to reverse that each one, at a human price incalculable.

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