Fact Sheet about US militiary operations in Afghanistan

Excerpt from the Quick Facts About U.S. Military Operations in Afghanistan, produced by the National Priorities Project:

Inside, you will find:

  • U.S. Troop Levels in Afghanistan historical data
  • Annual Funding for U.S. Combat Operations in Afghanistan
  • Figures of U.S. Military Fatalities in Afghanistan
  • Link to NPP’s Cost of War counter
  • Additional Resources

The Obama Administration is in the process of preparing a set of benchmarks which will be used to gauge the progress of U.S. military and civilian operations in Afghanistan. Ordered by Congress, the benchmarks are due by September 24. In addition, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has just released an interim assessment of the situation in the region. It has been widely reported that as a result of this assessment, Gen. McChrystal may request that as many as 45,000 additional U.S. troops be sent to Afghanistan.

The following are quick facts about the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan to date. We hope they are useful to you to you as you follow this issue. …

5 thoughts on “Fact Sheet about US militiary operations in Afghanistan

  1. According to ACCI (www.acci.org.af/-) President Karzai identified a new threat: “National traders should prevent from import of low quality and expiry goods because it is so dangerous for our people and can put them in risk of life.” So if n IED doesnt get you, a can of passed-eat-before-date beans will .

  2. Very interesting. This is a question I asked earlier but received no answer.

    Year $ in Billions
    2001 and 2002 20.8
    2003 14.7,
    2004 14.5,
    2005 20.0,
    2006 19.0,
    2007 36.9,
    2008 42.1,
    2009 60.2,
    TOTAL 228.2

    Needs to be taken with a grain of salt, only funding for “combat operations” , presumably doesn’t include base building (inc. outside Astan), may not include strat transport etc, presumably doesn’t account for amortized equipment, various personnel expenses, aid and rebuilding programs and the gods alone know what else. Doesn’t include NATO expenditures which presumably ramped up significantly when moving out from Kabul in 05-06. Still, *if* we assume that indirect costs are proportional to the combat funding stated the trend is indeed interesting.

    With that assumption in mind, to initially invade and occupy A’stan long enough to install Karzai cost directly less than 20 billion (subsequent years 14 billion … implying invasion and rat hunting in 2001 cost a *mere* 6-7 billion and change?) while attempting to conduct COIN in the stan costs two-three times as much annually. It indicates to actually be far cheaper to hypothetically reinvade A’stan EVERY SINGLE YEAR and immediately leave as opposed maintaining an occupation there.

    The strategic retaliatory (punitive) raid model. Perhaps think Israel and Lebanon. In the worst case how often would reinvasion be deemed necessary? Once in five-ten years? Perhaps the political costs would not be less to periodically inflame opinion than to maintain the constant running sore that exists now.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I (and others) have repeatedly made this point. Even moving to a less military policy mix (intense aid, military training, some SOF) does not foreclose raids and strikes in the future if al Qaeda rebuilds its bases.

    Advocates of the war reply with a false dilemna: full war or return to a pre-911 disengagement. And “history shows” that does not work, presumably because 9-11 happened (although Afghanistan had little or no role in 9-11). It’s a cheap rhetorical device, showing their lack of substantive reasons for the war. An example of this is Joshua Foust’s “A Bit More History“, Registan, 3 September 2009.

  3. Innumeracy is apparently rampant in our culture, how else to explain the public silence over the enormous sums of money being dumped into hellholes like Afghanistan and Iraq to no apparent end? What will it take to shake people out of their stupor? Permit me to suggest a simple experiment the next time we contemplate an expensive foreign adventure: Using the last year’s expense figure from your chart of $60.2 billion, let’s simply pile the money – all 60 billion of it – up someplace in the open, invite the public and the press to attend, and then burn all of it.

    Leaving aside the debate over whether we should still be there or not (I believe the latter), it is terribly frustrating and ultimately depressing that the costs of the war are not even scutinized, much less debated. Then again, as you and many posters have mentioned, “If God did not wuish them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep.” (The Magnificant Seven, 1962)

  4. Talking about funding foreign adventures, make the hawks work for every dollar. Re-institute war bonds as the only way to fund any military action over and above the regular military budget.
    It won’t stop every military action (nor should it) but it will put a lid on the currently limitless pot o gold into which politicians dip to fund these ventures.

    And if a ‘special interest’ pays out of its own pocket for bullets, that is better than same people featherbedding a few politicians and getting their own private military venture at taxpayer cost that may not coincide with the interest of the american people.

  5. FM: I don’t know if you have seen this, but here is an open letter signed by several conservatives urging the President to stay the course in Afghanistan. It looks like some of the signers are part of the PNAC crowd: “Conservatives back Obama on Afghanistan“, The Politiico, 4 September 2009
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    Fabius Maximus replies: Thanks for flagging this! It’s a list to make Obama smile. Letting these guys guide the Republican Party would be like putting Death as the pilot of your ship.

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