Afghan War Costs Estimated at More Than $2 trillion
The Biden administration has said it intends to pull the remaining U.S. armed forces from Afghanistan by Sept. 11. Setting aside the fact this will keep troops in country well past the May 1 withdrawal deadline the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban, it’s still a sign that America’s longest war is (mostly) coming to a close.
How much has this nearly two-decade conflict cost? According to a Brown University study, more than $2.2 trillion. But that’s not the final figure:
Since invading Afghanistan in 2001, the United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Note that this total does not include funds that the United States government is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.
In other words, we will keep paying for the war for decades to come. But the dollar amounts pale beside the human costs of such a long conflict:
The Costs of War Project also estimates that 241,000 people have died as a direct result of this war. These figures do not include deaths caused by disease, loss of access to food, water, infrastructure, and/or other indirect consequences of the war.
Its end cannot come soon enough.