Afghanistan: America's Trillion Dollar War

16 years since the Bush administration launched its military intervention in Afghanistan, President Trump has announced his intention to increase the U.S. military presence in the country. As Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, there are approximately 8,400 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan and reinforcements could start arriving within days. Trump's new strategy is set to extend the longest war in U.S. history and add even further to its already staggering cost.

Website "The Balance" has been keeping track of Afghanistan's economic impact and the conflict has now cost the U.S. at least $1.07 trillion since 2001.

Infographic: Afghanistan: America's Trillion Dollar War  | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

That can be divided into three segments.

$773 billion can be attributed to Overseas Contingency Operations funds specifically dedicated to the war.


$243 billion comes from increases in the base budget of the Department of Defense...


while the increase in the Veterans Administration budget cost $54.2 billion.

Financing Afghanistan reached its zenith in 2010 amid Obama's surge when costs topped $112 billion.

That gradually dropped as U.S. troops shifted their focus away from offensive operations to concentrate more on training Afghan forces. Earlier this week, General John Nicholson, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, said that the president's strategy is a sign of long-term commitment to Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to agree to peace talks.

Even though Trump has said that his decision to boost troop levels isn't "a blank check", it is still difficult to see how his Afghanistan strategy is any different from his predecessors.


fleur de lis yogibear Tue, 08/29/2017 - 09:40 Permalink

The Afghan war has absolutely nothing to do with freedom, peace, justice, blah, blah, blah.The DC Swamp, the Alphabetroids, and the Pentagram are protecting the opium crop.When the Taliban took over, the first thing they did was burn the massive opium fields because they deemed opium unIslamic.Opium became scarce and the narcotics profits took a knockout hit.Oxycontin beccame mixed up in the shortfall.That was why we invaded -- to replant and harvest the opium.US Marines are abused by the Swampites to guard the source of their narcotics money.That is also why Pat Tillman got murdered -- he figured out the scam right away and made the fatal mistake of sending emails home.Now the opium poppies are flourishing and the harvests are bigger than they ever were.Check the UN numbers on opium, how they crashed in Y2k and are now in the stratosphere.So don't think for a split second that the Swampites will ever leave Afghanistan.There's gold in them thar hills.Notice also the marked increase in opioid deaths across America.Not that our "leaders" give a damn -- they are only concerned about the skyrocketing numbers in the bank not the morgue.For every opioid death there are other customers to pick up the slack until they too, die.As long as opioids fatten the bankbooks of the Swampites, expect huge opium harvests more death, at home and abroad.The DC Swamp uses and abuses the general population and the armed forces with the same depravity.    

In reply to by yogibear

Offthebeach Tiwin Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:55 Permalink

If you can't find a couch to surf,  a basement/attic/garage to sleep are a real fk up.  For every wanna be Theroux,  King Of The Road, there are 20 working sucky jobsxat McDonalds, gas pay rent. Bums going to bum, they just to get high and manipulate peoples, poor peoples, good nature.  Fk. em.  

In reply to by Tiwin

TheMagician Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:34 Permalink

It boggles the mind to think what that 1 Trillion could have accomplished to our infrastructure and school system. I mean, better roads, bridges, more name it.Instead, everything goes to fill the pockets of the Deep State and its subdivision, the MIC conglomerate.We have managed to make stupidity a wholesale product. Shucks...Only in the USA, man. Only in the USA.

Brazen Heist Tue, 08/29/2017 - 04:06 Permalink

A trillion dollars spent on fighting an enemy - the Taliban, which is nowhere near defeat. Great work fellas.Then there was Vietnam and Iraq.What a complete waste of life, money and resources. This is what you get when an ideologically imbred Oligarchy calls the shots.

smacker Tue, 08/29/2017 - 04:13 Permalink

Without spending $1 trillion of US taxpayers money on a pointless war in Afghanistan, the military boots would not be on the ground to guard the poppy fields and cultivate opium production/export for the CIA to covertly fund its black ops around the world, including its covert supply of weapon systems to ISIS and other terrorists in Syria (via Silk Way Airlines etc) which are then used to kill US boots on the ground there.And with all the military equipment being used up or destroyed (some of it was even stolen when some US forces pulled out several years ago), MIC profits are UP!For the CIA, MIC and Deep State warmongers this is a win-win-win.Not sure if this comment should have /sarc or not ;-) 

smacker Oldrepublic Tue, 08/29/2017 - 08:27 Permalink

Yes, thanks for that. I'm pleased to note that my own assessment of the CIA's role in opium production in Afghanistan is exactly as Pepe describes it.So, the CIA is an organised criminal outfit.And I note Pepe also points out that Trump has nobody to turn to to sort it out because the Pantygon is also involved with the CIA.

In reply to by Oldrepublic

Internet-is-Beast Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:41 Permalink

From the taxpayers' pockets to whose pockets? That is the question.Whether the money passes through a thousand hidden channelsThat graft is heir toAnd is spent on things we know not of,Its final resting place,From whose offshore bourneNo accounting can return,T'is an investigationDevoutly to be wished. Aye, there's the rub. 

JailBanksters Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:13 Permalink

How unusual ..Spending more on military to prop up a failing economy.The more is spent on Military, the more the country is F'ed.History really does repeat itself.

Hkan Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:27 Permalink

Thanks taxpayers...u did a good job paying the bill. Lets go....look for new conflicts....we got a few in mind../Sincerely Your Military 

UmbilicalMosqu… Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:10 Permalink

A breakdown in yearly profits from the opium and heroin trade would be interesting. No doubt, the war's cost was well paid for by protecting the opium crops for those years. Next, track the kickbacks to government officials from all countries involved in marketing addiction and the resultant drug deaths...then execute all of the evil bastards!

venturen Tue, 08/29/2017 - 07:21 Permalink

It is almost like Obama was never there.  Obama was as a stratgic DISASTER. Not saying Bush wasn't bad...but Obama gave away trillions to the most crooked...while accomlishing alot of destruction of the USA. Will go down in history as the worst president EVER. Note most of the money was spent during Obama years of going backwards!  The two solutions are either ban Islam from government....or abandon the who thing and let them slaughter each other! 

Wahooo Tue, 08/29/2017 - 07:26 Permalink

Picking up where Tiwin left off below ... For what we’ve spent bringing freedom and democracy to Afghanistan, we could have:Bought every one of the 650,000 homeless people in America a $1.5 million mansion, PLUS given them $20,000 to furnish it, PLUS given them $150 a month from April through September to have a lawncare service mow the grass – for 20 years. Or given every elderly person currently in assisted living in the U.S. a $500,000 home and in-home elderly care for 30 years. Or given each of the 13.4 million students enrolled in 4-year colleges in the U.S. enough to pay for four years of average college tuition, room, board and books.Or given every man, woman and child in America $3,200 - and let THEM decide what to do with it.WTF? 

Able Ape Tue, 08/29/2017 - 07:48 Permalink

Uncle Scam says, "I spent a trillion dollars on that bitch and I haven't got so much as a peck on the cheek.  What's a guy gotta do to get some?"...

goldinpenguin Tue, 08/29/2017 - 07:50 Permalink

when people wonder why soc sec benefits have to be cut in a few years the president can point to a succession of misguided wars from vietnam to afgan iraq, syria which were funded with soc sec trusr funds.if these wars had to be funded by dedicated income tax, say an income tax surchage, they never would have happened. 

Offthebeach Tue, 08/29/2017 - 08:10 Permalink

US Fed Gov can do to Afghanistan,  what Fed Gov prigrams have done for Detroit, Chicago + 1,000 other cities, pubic edjamakiton in general,  Obamacare.  It is what the thing does.  Washington is a wonk delusion factory, and grifters paradise.  Reason, history have no place there.  So who's crazier,  Washington or Zerohedge thinking anything will change?