FT: US Has Spent More on Afghanistan War Than on Marshall Plan
The US has spent nearly USD 1 trillion on the war in Afghanistan, the longest overseas conflict the country has led, since it began in 2001.
Furthermore the country will have to spend another several hundred billion dollars after the conflict ends officially in the end of December.
The calculations have been made by the Financial Times and independent researchers.
Nearly 80 % of the spending on the war in Afghanistan has been during the presidency of Barack Obama, who sharply increased US military presence in the country following his election in 2008.
The enormous spending will add to the prevalent scepticism in the US, where opinion polls show that majority of Americans think that the war was a bad decision.
The Financial Times reminds that the war in Iraq has already costed USD 1.7 trillion.
This together with the bill of the Afghanistan war will add to the growing reluctance of the citizens and the presidential administration to intervene militarily elsewhere in the world.
The government's special inspector-general for Afghanistan John Sopko who monitors the reconstruction projects in the country, said that “billions of dollars” have been wasted or stolen on projects that made little sense.
Sopko estimated that the war in Afghanistan costs more than the Marshall Plan, the aid the US had provided for the reconstruction of Europe following the end of the Second World War.
The US-led military operation of NATO which started shortly following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 will come to a halt at the end of December.
The present plans provide that 10 000 US troops are to remain in Afghanistan until 2016, but their presence might be extended in fears of Taliban insurgency once the US army leaves the country.
The funds used to finance both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been borrowed and according to Ryan Edwards from City University of New York the US has already paid USD 260 billion in interest on the debt.
Apart from these costs, USD 134 billion have been spent on dealing with medical issues such as post-tramatic stress disorder, which has been suffered by veterans who had served in both wars.
It is expected that the spending on the Afghanistan war is to increase, as the Pentagon wants further USD 120 billion for the 2016-2019 period on future operations in the country.
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