Scientists from an American university report on the costs of war in Afghanistan. Their calculations show that the United States has spent $2.26 trillion there since 2001. The bulk, nearly $1 trillion, has been spent on the Defense Department’s budget for “foreign contingency operations,” that is, foreign military operations. In contrast, $530 billion is the estimated interest on money that the United States government borrowed to fund the war.
Up to $88.3 billion was spent on training and equipping the Afghan army from May 2002 to March 2021. The Afghan army is tasked with repelling the Taliban and other armed groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The United States has also allocated more than 144 billion dollars. for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Much of this money went to private contractors and NGOs affiliated with the US government. They were supposed to restore security in Afghanistan, help with economic and social development, and fight the drug trade. Unfortunately, at the same time, the illegal economy was thriving in Afghanistan, driven in large part by the production of opium and heroin.
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With Washington’s efforts unsuccessful, the US Congress created the Special Inspectorate for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which has been monitoring and evaluating reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan since 2008.
Last month, the Office of the International Inspector General (SIGAR) published its 10th report: “In chaotic and unpredictable environments such as Afghanistan, poor oversight or improper implementation can threaten relationships with local communities, threaten the lives of U.S. and Afghan government employees and civilians, and undermine goals The strategy.” IG summarizing John F. Sopco.
Despite all this spending, Afghanistan still has one of the world’s weakest economies. Last year, President Ashraf Ghani said 90 percent. Residents live on less than two dollars a day.
Source: Al Jazeera
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