Afghan war cost US $2 trillion, interest will pinch every American

The cost is even greater in terms of lives lost. The US lost 2,448 of its service members while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and nearly 4,000 civilian contractors. More than 66,000 Afghan national military and police personnel have also been killed in the last 20 years.
A Taliban fighter sits on an armoured vehicle outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, on Monday.(Reuters Photo)
A Taliban fighter sits on an armoured vehicle outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, on Monday.(Reuters Photo)
Published on Aug 17, 2021 11:29 AM IST
Copy Link
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Afghanistan is now under the control of Taliban. And it took them just a month to defeat the Western-backed forces of Afghanistan and take control of the country again after 20 years.

The turnaround happened in the wake of the pullout of United States forces from Afghanistan - its longest combat mission till date. The US forces remained in Afghanistan for about two decades - since 9/11 - and have spent trillions of dollars but all that came to naught in front of Taliban blitzkrieg.

And because the US borrowed most of the money to pay for it, generations of Americans will be burdened by the cost of paying it off.

Take a look at US-led war in Afghanistan, by the numbers:

According to estimates by Costs of War Project at Brown University, United States has spent more than $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan. This includes the direct funding cost of $800 billion and $83 billion to train the Afghan army.

To put the figures in perspective, the amount spent in keeping Taliban at bay is more than the combined net worth of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and the 30 richest billionaires in America.

The Brown University has also made the projection that the cost of interest on the United States' Afghan war debt will go up to $6.5 trillion by 2050. And that will pinch the average American, since it translates to $20,000 for each and every US citizen.

The cost is even greater in terms of lives lost. The US lost 2,448 of its service members (figures till April this year) while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and nearly 4,000 civilian contractors. More than 66,000 Afghan national military and police personnel have also been killed in the last 20 years.

The civilian cost too is very high - 47,245. The number of Taliban and other opposition fighters killed in the war stands at 51,191, according to university figures.

The US has also committed a substantial amount in health care, disability, burial and other costs for roughly 4 million Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. That amount will peak after 2048.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, October 26, 2021