Hundreds of billions of dollars: how much did it cost the US war in Afghanistan

The negotiations between the administration of U.S. President Donald trump and the Taliban, to put an end to the armed conflict in Afghanistan, was conducted for many months. About it writes BBC.

Сотни миллиардов долларов: во сколько обошлась США война в Афганистане

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Trump has repeatedly stated that his goal is to return American troops home and ending the longest war in U.S. history.

“Our goal is the cessation of the longest war in U.S. history and the return of our troops home,” said trump.

How many military sent

The US sent its forces to Afghanistan in October 2001 to oust the Taliban, who, according to American authorities, harbored Osama bin Laden and other leaders of “al-Qaeda” associated with the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001.

The number of American forces in Afghanistan grew as increased costs to fight the Taliban and rebuild the country.

The number of troops in Afghanistan (2002-2019):

  • 2002 — up to 10 thousand;
  • 2003 — 10 thousand;
  • 2004 — up to 20 thousand;
  • 2005 — 20 thousand;
  • 2006 — over 20 thousand;
  • 2007 to 30 thousand;
  • 2008 — 30 thousand;
  • 2009 — up to 70 thousand;
  • 2010 — up to 110 thousand;
  • 2011 — 110 thousand;
  • 2012 — up to 80 thousand;
  • 2013 — up to 70 thousand;
  • 2014 — up to 30 thousand;
  • 2015 — up to 10 thousand;
  • 2016 — up to 10 thousand;
  • 2017 — up to 20 thousand;
  • 2018 — up to 20 thousand;
  • 2019 — up to 20 thousand.

From 2010 to 2012, when the United States kept the country more than 100 thousand soldiers, the cost of this war were, according to the government, almost $100 billion a year.

After the U.S. army has reduced the scope of direct participation in the conflict and focused its efforts on training the Afghan army, the cost of the war decreased significantly.

From 2016 to 2018, the annual costs amounted to about $40 billion, and in 2019 (up to September) they fell to $38 billion.

According to the Department of defense spending on the US military intervention in Afghanistan from October 2001 to September 2019 amounted to $778 billion.

In addition, the U.S. state Department along with the United States Agency for international development and other official organizations spent $44 billion on reconstruction projects in the country.

Thus, the figure of the total cost of Afghanistan amounted to 822 billion dollars in 2001, but it does not include expenditure on military assistance to Pakistan, which is used as a base for military operations in Afghanistan.

According to the International Institute for strategic studies, the US military budget is more than military budgets of the 10 largest countries combined:

  • China — $181 billion;
  • Saudi Arabia — $78 billion;
  • Russia — $62 billion;
  • India — $61 billion;
  • Britain — $55 billion;
  • France — $52 billion;
  • Japan — $49 billion;
  • Germany — $49 billion;
  • Brazil — $40 billion;
  • South Korea — $28 billion.

The sum of the budgets of these countries is $655 billion, while the USA only lay in its military budget of $685 billion.

However, an independent study conducted by researchers at brown University, indicates that the official figures of the cost of the war in Afghanistan is greatly reduced.

The researchers note that the us Congress approved the allocation of assistance in the amount of up to one trillion dollars for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Neta Crawford, Director of the project “cost of war” at brown University indicates that this figure does not include other related costs, for example, the cost of military pensions and medical care for veterans, expenses of other ministries on the military and the interest paid on war loans.

With this in mind, the cost of the war in Afghanistan is approaching two trillion dollars.

What the money spent

The bulk of the money spent on operations against the rebels and supply troops, medical aid and benefits.

Official data also indicate that the United States spent $137 billion on reconstruction projects in the country. About 16% of the total cost over 17 years.

More than half of this amount — $86 billion spent on the creation of the Afghan national army, police and other security forces.

The rest went mainly to Finance measures to strengthen the state apparatus and infrastructure, and economic and humanitarian assistance and counter-narcotics.

From 2002 to September last year, the United States has spent about $1.5 million a day (about $9 billion) for the fight against drug production; at the same time, according to the UN, the total area of plantation of opium peaked in 2017.

In 2017, American control organization responsible for the restoration of the country, said that up to $15.5 billion was lost to fraud, waste and abuse for the last 11 years.

This figure represents probably a fraction of the overall damage. In the organization also believe that American money had often led to conflict, corruption and increased support of the rebels.

Loss of

During the years of conflict, the loss of the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan amounted to more than 2,300 people, about 20 of 660 soldiers were injured.

According to official data, in December 2019, about 13 thousand American troops were in Afghanistan, along with almost 11 thousands of civilians.

However, casualties among Afghan soldiers and civilians was far higher.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in 2019 that in 2014, when he became President, killed more than 45 thousand Afghan soldiers.

The President’s decision to make public the death toll was unusual because these data are not published by the governments of the United States and Afghanistan.

According to local media, in recent years, the Afghan security forces suffered very high losses, sometimes for a day, the death toll was 30-40 people.

According to the UN office in Afghanistan since 2009, when it began the systematic recording of civilian casualties in the country have killed or injured more than 100 thousand people.

As previously wrote ForumDaily:

The US and the radical movement “Taliban” have signed an agreement aimed to initiate a peace process in Afghanistan and end the longest war in American history, which claimed tens of thousands of lives and cost billions of dollars.

USA hope with the agreement to end 20-year conflict and return home 13 thousand troops in Afghanistan.

The agreement States:

  • The US withdraw troops in 14 months, if the Taliban would abide by the agreement
  • After signing the agreement to begin negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government
  • The Taliban will not allow any of their members, including al-Qaida to use Afghanistan to undermine the security of the United States and its allies
  • The US and the Afghan government released 5 thousand prisoners, “Taliban” to thousands of prisoners to March 10


Afghanistan and the United States