Longest War's Cost: Thousands of Lives, Trillions of Dollars

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U.S. subject planes person carried the past U.S. work members and diplomats from Kabul’s airport, ending America’s longest war. Ordinary Americans intimately watched the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, arsenic they did the commencement of the warfare astir 20 years ago, successful the weeks aft the 9/11 attacks.

But Americans often tended to hide astir the Afghanistan warfare successful between, and it received measurably little oversight from Congress than the Vietnam War did. But its decease toll for Afghans and Americans and their NATO allies is successful the galore tens of thousands. And due to the fact that the U.S. borrowed astir of the wealth to wage for it, generations of Americans to travel volition beryllium paying disconnected its cost, successful the trillions of dollars.

A look astatine the U.S.-led warfare successful Afghanistan, by the numbers, arsenic the past Americans deployed determination departed.

Much of the information beneath is from Linda Bilmes of Harvard University’s Kennedy School and from the Brown University Costs of War project. Because the United States betwixt 2003 and 2011 fought the Afghanistan and Iraq wars simultaneously, and galore American troops served tours successful some wars, immoderate figures arsenic noted screen some post-9/11 U.S. wars.

U.S. officials were alert the Abbey Gate astatine Hamid Karzai International Airport successful Kabul could beryllium targeted. But the gross was kept unfastened to let British unit clip to evacuate - past a termination bomber struck Thursday. Politico newsman Lara Seligman talks astir her reporting connected that bombing and U.S. drone strikes successful retaliation, which killed respective civilians. Plus, we inquire her astir the aboriginal of the U.S. and Taliban relations.


Percentage of U.S. colonisation calved since the 2001 attacks plotted by al-Qaida leaders who were sheltering successful Afghanistan: Roughly 1 retired of each four.

U.S. & World


American work members killed successful Afghanistan: 2,461.

U.S. contractors, done April: 3,846.

Afghan nationalist subject and police, done April: 66,000.

Other allied work members, including from different NATO subordinate states, done April: 1,144.

Afghan civilians, done April: 47,245.

Taliban and different absorption fighters, done April: 51,191.

Aid workers, done April: 444.

Journalists, done April: 72.


Percentage driblet successful babe mortality complaint since U.S., Afghan and different allied forces overthrew the Taliban government, which had sought to restrict women and girls to the home:About 50.

Percentage of Afghan teenage girls capable to work today: 37.

Percentage of Afghans with entree to electricityin 2005: 22

In 2019: 98.

Days earlier the U.S. withdrawal that the Taliban retook control: 15.


Date Congress authorized U.S. forces to spell aft culprits successful Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: Sept. 18, 2001.

Number of times U.S. lawmakers person voted to state warfare successful Afghanistan: 0.

Number of times lawmakers connected Senate Appropriations defence subcommittee addressed costs of Vietnam War, during that conflict: 42

Number of times lawmakers successful aforesaid subcommittee person mentioned costs of Afghanistan and Iraq wars, done mid-summer 2021: 5.

Number of times lawmakers connected Senate Finance Committee person mentioned costs of Afghanistan and Iraq wars since Sept. 11, 2001, done mid-summer 2021: 1.


Amount President Harry Truman temporarily raised apical taxation rates to wage for Korean War: 92%.

Amount President Lyndon Johnson temporarily raised apical taxation rates to wage for Vietnam War: 77%.

Amount President George W. Bush chopped taxation rates for the wealthiest, alternatively than rise them, astatine outset of Afghanistan and Iraq wars: At slightest 8%.

Estimated magnitude of nonstop Afghanistan and Iraq warfare costs that the United States has debt-financed arsenic of 2020: $2 trillion.

Estimated involvement costs by 2050:Up to $6.5 trillion.


Amount Bilmes estimates the United States volition wage successful wellness care, disability, burial and different costs for astir 4 cardinal Afghanistan and Iraq veterans: much than $2 trillion.

Period those costs volition peak: aft 2048.

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