Why US’ $2 trillion war couldn’t stop fall of Afghanistan – World News

Though the US spent more than $2 trillion and lost thousands of troops in Afghanistan over the last two decades, the country fell to Taliban within days. Data on expenditure, troop numbers and preparedness shows that
Afghanistan had been in a downward spiral for some time now, resulting in tens of thousands dead and displaced.
Just 16% of US expenses on reconstruction
A July 2021 report of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction states that so far the US Department of Defense has spent $839 billion for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan.
Of this, $83.3 billion has gone to security-related reconstruction. The US Department of State, USAID, and other civilian agencies, have reported obligations of another $49.6 billion for reconstruction. Of the total money spent,
approximately 16% has gone to reconstruction, largely of Afghan security forces.

Much of the spending concentrated within US
Brown University estimates the actual cost is $2.26 trillion. This cost, however, also includes increases in the defense department’s base budget, veteran care costs and estimated interests in war borrowing. Most of this money never left American soil.

Nearly 175,000 casualties since war began
Just 16% of US expenses on reconstruction Afghan security personnel and civilians accounted for more
than half the deaths over the past two decades.

US troop strength declining since 2011
Troop numbers peaked in 2011 and steadily declined since then.

Afghan military, police not big enough
The latest estimate for Afghanistan’s police and military strength is about 300,000. It’s questionable if
this is enough for a population of 38 million people. In April 2021, Afghanistan had 8 army and police personnel
per 1,000 people.

Almost 3 million Afghans displaced
The UN Refugee Agency estimates that 2.6 million Afghans are now refugees while another 2.8 million are internally
displaced. Another 240,000 Afghans are seeking asylum.

Source: UNHCR, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Brown University, Brookings Institution


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