500 billion US dollars or one trillion in Afghanistan?

The US military has spent billions of dollars since 2001, fighting the Taliban’s resistance in Afghanistan.

But if the recent dialogue between the United States and the Taliban in Doha succeeds, then it will be a step towards the end of the US military’s presence in this country.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said that the war has cost the US government and society $ 500 billion.

How accurate are these figures and where have they been reached?

US troop levels in Afghanistan

2002 – 2018Source: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. The attack was carried out on the Taliban with allegations that they had helped Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in the 9/11 attacks.

They abolished the Taliban, after which extremist groups launched a nationwide offensive.

The number of US troops in Afghanistan has increased, and Washington has invested billions of dollars in fighting the Taliban and rebuilding it.

According to data provided by the US government, between 2011 and 2012, there were more than 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan, and annual spending reached $ 100 billion.

But then the US military shifted its focus away from its offensive operations to the training of the Afghan army, and the cost of the US military spending here between 2016 and 2018 came to about 40 billion.

The estimated cost for March this year is $ 18 billion.

US costs of war in Afghanistan

2001 – 2019Source: US Department of Defense

According to the US Defense Department, military spending in Afghanistan from October 2001 to March 2019 was $ 760 billion.

This is significantly higher than the figures given by the Afghan president.

But an independent study, cited by Brown University on war spending, states that US spending on Afghan war has been described as minimal.

The research states that it did not include expenses for veterans and aid to other war-related departments, nor did it include interest payments on war loans. went.

It is estimated that the costs associated with these additional factors are close to one trillion.

US defense budget compared to eight biggest military spenders in the world

Where did this money go?

A large part of this money was spent on resistance operations and the needs of US military personnel, such as food, medical facilities, and special pay and privileges.

According to official data, the United States spent $ 133 billion over the last 17 years to rebuild Afghanistan, which is 16 percent of the total cost.

More than half of that amount ($ 83 billion) was spent on the formation of Afghan National Forces, including the Afghan National Army and the Police Force.

An Afghan honoree guard carries the coffin of a policeman
Image captionAfghan security forces suffered heavy casualties in this war

The rest was spent solely on governance and infrastructure improvements, as well as anti-drug, economy and humanitarian assistance.

According to US data, although marijuana and opium cultivation have increased in Afghanistan, the United States has invested $ 1.5 million in anti-drug efforts on a daily basis, which is seen from June 2002 to $ 9 billion this year.

In 2017, the US-monitored reconstruction in Afghanistan reported that $ 1.5 billion was lost in fraud and microseconds over the past 11 years and some money was lost.

These figures are only a fraction of the total amount lost. The governing body says the US money often sparked a war, caused corruption and increased support for protesters.

But what is the human cost?

The war against the Taliban began in 2001. The US military lost 2,300 lives in it, and wounded 2,500 soldiers.

According to official statistics, as of June 2018, 14,000 US troops were in Afghanistan. There were also about eleven thousand US citizens working as contractors.

But the casualties of the US are far less than the casualties of the Afghan forces.

President Ashraf Ghani said this year that 45,000 members of the Afghan forces have lost their lives since 2014.

Total civilian casualties in Afghanistan

2009 – 2019 *Source: UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (* 2019 casualties to 30 Jun)

It was unusual for President Ghani to report the number of casualties.

However, some reports say that the number of Afghan security forces casualties has been very high in recent years and that the average number is 30 to 40 on a daily basis.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, since 2009, when the civilian casualties and casualty statistics began to be kept up to date, more than 32,000 civilians have been killed and 60,000 wounded.

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