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US War in Afghanistan Costs $45 Billion Per Year

US War in Afghanistan Costs $45 Billion Per YearUS War in Afghanistan Costs $45 Billion Per Year

Forty-five billion dollars. That is how much the Pentagon says the Afghan war is costing American taxpayers, and with no end in sight they may have to keep footing that bill for years to come.

Lawmakers, skeptical about the prospects of victory, grilled the US President Donald Trump administration on Tuesday on the direction of the nation’s longest-running war, now in its 17th year. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing comes after a wave of shocking militant attacks in Kabul that killed more than 200 people, PBS News reported.

Randall Schriver, the Defense Department’s top Asia official, said the $45 billion total for the year includes $5 billion for Afghan forces and $13 billion for US forces inside Afghanistan. Much of the rest is for logistical support. Some $780 million goes toward economic aid.

The costs now are still significantly lower than during the high point of the war in Afghanistan. From 2010 to 2012, when the US had as many as 100,000 soldiers in the country, the price for American taxpayers surpassed $100 billion each year. There are currently around 16,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

Both Republican and Democratic senators highlighted the scale of the continuing outlay from Washington. Six months ago, Trump unveiled his strategy for turning the tide in the war, setting no time limit on the US military’s involvement in the war-battered country, saying it would be based on conditions on the ground.

Tens of billions are “just being thrown down a hatch in Afghanistan,” said Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. “We’re in an impossible situation. I see no hope for it.”

Painting a bleak picture of the Afghan political and security situation, Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon complained that every couple of years, US administrations claim the corner is being turned in the Afghan war. He listed problems with corruption, government dysfunction and Afghan security forces, and said US hopes of using military pressure to compel the Taliban to reach a political settlement were unrealistic.

 

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