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World Counting the costs of America's 20-year war in Afghanistan

09:50  30 april  2021
09:50  30 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

Afghans working for US worry about their future after Biden withdrawal announcement

  Afghans working for US worry about their future after Biden withdrawal announcement There are about 18,000 people who have applied for special immigrant visas to the US who are still awaiting approval, according to a State Department official. But how quickly they can move through the red tape built into the program is unclear, given thorough and years-long vetting that often takes place before a visa is granted. For many, that time could be a matter of life and death. "Due to high risk from Taliban and target killing, the company which I am working with told me that I should not go to my job site for a short time.

President Biden has said he wants US troops out of Afghanistan by 11 September this year , pushing back a 1 May deadline agreed to by former President Trump. "It's time to end America ' s longest war ," Mr Biden said. We've been looking at how much the US has spent in Afghanistan since the war began. As the US military shifted its focus away from offensive operations and concentrated more on training up Afghan forces, costs fell sharply. Between 2010 to 2012, when the US for a time had more than 100,000 soldiers in the country, the cost of the war grew to almost 0bn a year , according to

America ' s longest war , the conflict in Afghanistan , has cost 5 billion when 2019 estimates are factored in according to website The Balance. Their data is based on research from Brown University and it makes the war in Afghanistan second only to the inflation-adjusted .1 trillion the Costs reached their highest level in 2011 at 7 billion, the same year Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden in a raid in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. In the years since, both troop levels and costs declined significantly as American forces transitioned to a training and mentoring role for the Afghan military.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — America’s longest war, the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan that started in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, killed tens of thousands of people, dogged four U.S. presidents and ultimately proved unwinnable despite its staggering cost in blood and treasure.

FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2013 file photo, relatives surround the body of a 10-year-old Afghan girl who was killed by a roadside bomb, apparently targeting a group of soldiers, during her funeral on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. America’s longest war, the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan that started in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, killed tens of thousands of people, dogged four U.S. presidents and ultimately proved unwinnable despite its staggering cost in blood and treasure. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2013 file photo, relatives surround the body of a 10-year-old Afghan girl who was killed by a roadside bomb, apparently targeting a group of soldiers, during her funeral on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. America’s longest war, the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan that started in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, killed tens of thousands of people, dogged four U.S. presidents and ultimately proved unwinnable despite its staggering cost in blood and treasure. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File) FILE - This May 14, 2010 file photo, shows the Tarakhil power plant built with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development, on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. Washington has poured over $143 billion into nation-building since 2002, according to the latest figures from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Much of the billions lavished on huge infrastructure projects went to waste, the U.S. inspector general discovered. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File): Afghanistan The Cost © Provided by Associated Press Afghanistan The Cost

This final chapter, with President Joe Biden’s decision to pull all American troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, has prompted a reckoning over the war’s lost lives and colossal expenditure.

'It's an impossible situation': Democrats link arms with Biden on Afghanistan -- and brace for the worst

  'It's an impossible situation': Democrats link arms with Biden on Afghanistan -- and brace for the worst Most congressional Democrats are backing President Joe Biden's decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan this year, though many harbor nagging concerns that the gains won over the last 20 years will be erased and the Taliban will retake control after American troops are no longer there. © Thomas Watkins/AFP/Getty Images In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, US soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army (ANA) checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province.

This Afghan Air Force attack on 2 April in north-eastern Kunduz province killed at least 36 people and injured 71, the UN says. Although witnesses said Taliban fighters and senior figures were in the crowd, 30 of those killed were children. Hundreds of people had gathered outside a madrassa in the John W Nicholson, the top US general in Afghanistan , has pledged that a "tidal wave of air power" will be unleashed. The aim of this air barrage, analysts say, is to try to push the Taliban to the negotiating table, and perhaps bring an end to America ' s longest war - which has dragged on for 17 years .

By far America ’ s longest war , the conflict has claimed the lives of around 2,400 US soldiers, 3,800 contractors, more than 47,000 Afghan civilians, and cost American taxpayers in excess of trillion, according to the Costs of War Project. Despite fighting for more than 20 years , with US troop levels swelling beyond 100,000 during President Barack Obama’s 2009 “surge,” the Taliban continues to control wide swathes of Afghanistan , as recent local estimates indicate the militant group holds sway over more than half of the country.

Here’s a look at the spiraling cost of America’s campaign — the bloodshed, wasted funds and future consequences for the war-battered nation teetering on the brink of chaos.

THE COST IN LIVES

Afghans have paid the highest price. Since 2001, at least 47,245 civilians have been killed in the war as of mid-April, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University, which documents the hidden costs of the post-9/11 wars.

Gun and bomb attacks targeting civilians surged to previously unseen heights since the intra-Afghan peace negotiations opened in Qatar last fall, according to U.N. Watchdogs who say the conflict has killed a total of 72 journalists and 444 aid workers.

The Afghan government keeps the toll among its soldiers secret to avoid undermining morale, but Costs of War estimates the war has killed 66,000 to 69,000 Afghan troops.

US orders big drawdown at Kabul embassy as troops leave

  US orders big drawdown at Kabul embassy as troops leave WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Tuesday ordered a significant number of its remaining staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to leave Afghanistan as the military steps up the pullout of American troops from the country. The order came as the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan told lawmakers that it no longer made sense to continue the 20-year deployment of American troops there. At the same time, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said he shared lawmakers' concerns that the rights of women and minorities could be jeopardized after the withdrawal is complete.

The Costs of War Project is a team of 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners, and physicians, which began its work in 2011. We use research and a public website to facilitate debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan , and Pakistan. Stay Informed. Join the Costs of War Project mailing list for our latest findings.

We should expect as American citizens that this would cost at least 0 billion for a two- year FY2005 Emergency Supplemental: Operations in the War on Terror; Activities in Afghanistan Official calculations stated that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined cost £ 20 .3 billion (up to but

FILE - In this May 12, 2009 file photo, a worker fills jars with honey at a production company supported by the United States Agency for International Development, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Washington has poured over $143 billion into nation-building since 2002, according to the latest figures from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this May 12, 2009 file photo, a worker fills jars with honey at a production company supported by the United States Agency for International Development, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Washington has poured over $143 billion into nation-building since 2002, according to the latest figures from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

The war has forced 2.7 million Afghans to flee abroad, mostly to Iran, Pakistan and Europe, the U.N. said. Another 4 million are displaced within the country, which has a total population of 36 million.

Meanwhile, 2,442 U.S. troops have been killed and 20,666 wounded in the war since 2001, according to the Defense Department. It’s estimated that over 3,800 U.S. private security contractors have been killed. The Pentagon does not track their deaths.

The conflict also has killed 1,144 personnel from the 40-nation NATO coalition that trained Afghan forces over the years, according to a tally kept by the website iCasualties. The remaining 7,000 allied troops also will withdraw by Biden’s 9/11 deadline.

EXPLAINER: What remains as US ends Afghan 'forever war'

  EXPLAINER: What remains as US ends Afghan 'forever war' KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — After 20 years, America is ending its “forever war” in Afghanistan. Announcing a firm withdrawal deadline, President Joe Biden cut through the long debate, even within the U.S. military, over whether the time was right. Starting Saturday, the last remaining 2,500 to 3,5000 American troops will begin leaving, to be fully out by Sept. 11 at the latest. Another debate will likely go on far longer: Was it worth it? Since 2001, tens of thousands of Afghans and 2,442 American soldiers have been killed, millions of Afghans driven from their homes, and billions of dollars spent on war and reconstruction.

The war operations cost $ 1,500 billion, but the exact amount remains “opaque“. Training and arming the Afghan government forces (over 300,000 men) cost 87 billion. 54 billion dollars were spent on “economic aid and reconstruction”, largely wasted because of corruption and inefficiency, to “build hospitals The United States has become heavily in debt to finance the war in Afghanistan : so far, it had to pay 500 billion dollars, again with public money and it will rise to over 600 billion dollars in 2023. Furthermore, 350 billion have been spent so far for the US military who have suffered serious injuries

20 years in Afghanistan : Was it worth it? Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers have been killed and injured in the past four years. How much has the Afghanistan war cost the US? By Reality Check team. BBC News.

THE COST IN DOLLARS

The U.S. has spent a stunning total of $2.26 trillion on a dizzying array of expenses, according to the Costs of War project.

The Defense Department’s latest 2020 report said war-fighting costs totaled $815.7 billion over the years. That covers the operating costs of the U.S. military in Afghanistan, everything from fuel and food to Humvees, weapons and ammunition, from tanks and armored vehicles to aircraft carriers and airstrikes.

FILE - In this April 11, 2016 file photo, farmers harvest raw opium at a poppy field in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. President Joe Biden's decision to end America's longest war has prompted a reckoning over the colossal cost of the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan. Despite the costly counternarcotics campaign, opium exports reached record heights. (AP Photos/Allauddin Khan, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April 11, 2016 file photo, farmers harvest raw opium at a poppy field in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. President Joe Biden's decision to end America's longest war has prompted a reckoning over the colossal cost of the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan. Despite the costly counternarcotics campaign, opium exports reached record heights. (AP Photos/Allauddin Khan, File)

Although America first invaded to retaliate against al-Qaida and rout its hosts, the Taliban, the U.S. and NATO soon pivoted to a more open-ended mission: nation-building on a massive scale.

U.S. troops are leaving Afghanistan, but Al Qaeda remains

  U.S. troops are leaving Afghanistan, but Al Qaeda remains As U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, efforts against a diminished Al Qaeda are in flux. Officials say the terrorist group could threaten the U.S. again.It was a tableau often seen in years past, but on this recent afternoon there was a crucial difference: The Afghans were alone, without the American forces that have backed them in a 20-year war.

Washington has poured over $143 billion into that goal since 2002, according to the latest figures from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

Of that, $88 billion went to training, equipping and funding Afghan military and police forces. Another $36 billion was spent on reconstruction projects, education and infrastructure like dams and highways, the SIGAR report said. Another $4.1 billion has gone to humanitarian aid for refugees and disasters. The campaign to deter Afghans from selling heroin around the world cost over $9 billion.

Unlike with other conflicts in American history, the U.S. borrowed heavily to fund the war in Afghanistan and has paid some $530 billion in interest. It has also paid $296 billion in medical and other care for veterans, according to Costs of War. It will continue to pay both those expenses for years to come.

FOLLOWING THE MONEY

Much of the billions lavished on huge infrastructure projects went to waste, the U.S. inspector general discovered. Canals, dams and highways fell into disrepair, as Afghanistan failed to absorb the flood of aid. Newly built hospitals and schools stood empty. Without proper oversight, the U.S. money bred corruption that undermined government legitimacy.

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, newly graduated Afghan National Army march during their graduation ceremony after a three month training program at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. President Joe Biden's decision to end America's longest war has prompted a reckoning over the colossal cost of the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan. Despite the billions in weapons and training to Afghan security forces, the Taliban increased the amount territory they control. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020 file photo, newly graduated Afghan National Army march during their graduation ceremony after a three month training program at the Afghan Military Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. President Joe Biden's decision to end America's longest war has prompted a reckoning over the colossal cost of the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan. Despite the billions in weapons and training to Afghan security forces, the Taliban increased the amount territory they control. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Despite the costly counternarcotics campaign, opium exports reached record heights. Despite the billions in weapons and training to Afghan security forces, the Taliban increased the amount of territory they control. Despite vast spending on job creation and welfare, unemployment hovers around 25%. The poverty rate has fluctuated over the years, reaching 47% through 2020, according to the World Bank, compared to 36% when the fund first began calculating in 2007.

Formal start of final phase of Afghan pullout by US, NATO

  Formal start of final phase of Afghan pullout by US, NATO KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The final phase of ending America's “forever war” in Afghanistan after 20 years formally began Saturday, with the withdrawal of the last U.S. and NATO troops by the end of summer. President Joe Biden had set May 1 as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining forces — about 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops and about 7,000 NATO soldiers.

“We invested too much with too little to show for it,” said Michael Wahid Hanna, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Century Foundation.

THE COST OF LEAVING

Although few want to prolong the war interminably, many fear its final end may jeopardize Afghanistan’s modest gains in health, education and women’s rights, made in the early years as the U.S. expanded the economy and toppled the Taliban, which had imposed tough strictures on women.

Since 2001, life expectancy has increased to 64 years from 56, the World Bank says. Maternal mortality has more than halved. Opportunities for education have grown, with the literacy rate rising 8% to roughly 43%. Life in cities has improved, with 89% of residents having access to clean water, compared to 16% before the war.

Child marriage has declined by 17%, according to U.N. data. Girls’ enrollment in primary school has nearly doubled, and more women have entered college and served in Parliament. These figures still pale compared with global standards.

But more broadly, the failure of America’s ambitions to build a stable, democratic Afghanistan has left the country mired in uncertainty as U.S. forces leave. The nation’s history tells of civil war that follows foreign invasions and withdrawals.

“For better or worse, the U.S. has a serious stabilizing presence right now, and once that’s gone there’s going to be a power vacuum,” said Michael Callen, an Afghanistan economy expert at the London School of Economics. “In the 20 years’ war, there’s going to be a whole lot of scores that need to be settled.”

US exit from Afghanistan leaves progress, anxiety in its wake: Reporter's Notebook .
After nearly 20 years, the U.S. is leaving behind uncertainty in Afghanistan. A little over two months earlier, al-Qaida terrorists had attacked America, bringing bloodshed and tragedy to a shocked nation. The orders for the Sept. 11 attack had come from a land-locked, central Asian country that few outside elite intelligence and political circles were aware of and even fewer could locate on a map. The old hands knew Afghanistan though, it's where they'd helped mujahedeen fighters deal a crushing and humiliating blow to the dwindling might of the Soviet Red Army.

usr: 1
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