After nearly 20 years of war, the last of America’s troops made a frantic final exit out of Afghanistan on Monday, capping the US’s deadly and botched withdrawal from the strife-torn country.
The mass evacuations brought an end to the 19 years and 47 weeks that US troops have been stationed in Afghanistan in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. In total, 800,000 American troops have served there.
President Biden said in a speech Tuesday that the war cost the US $300 million a day for the past 20 years.
Here is a breakdown of the cost of the Afghanistan war by all of the numbers — including lives lost and dollars spent.
Deaths and casualties:
The number of US service members to die during the war sits at roughly 2,400.
More than 20,000 Americans were wounded during that time, also, according to the Defense Department.
About 1,144 other allied troops were killed in action.
At least 66,000 Afghan troops and more than 48,000 Afghan civilians have been killed, too, said the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which is a US government watchdog.
And roughly 75,000 Afghans have been injured in the war since 2001.
Just last week, 13 US service members and more than 170 Afghans were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber outside Kabul’s airport in one of the war’s deadliest days.
Between 2001 and April this year, 77 journalists and 444 humanitarian-aid workers were killed in Afghanistan, also, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.
The financial cost:
The US has spent an estimated $2.313 trillion on the war since invading Afghanistan, according to the Watson Institute’s Costs of War — or $300 million a day, Biden said Tuesday.
An estimated $837 billion has been spent on the fighting alone, said an August 2021 SIGAR report, citing Department of Defense figures.
About $145 billion was set aside for rebuilding such things as Afghanistan’s security forces, government institutions and the economy, according to the SIGAR report.
Since 2008, the US spent $7.8 billon on buildings and vehicles in Afghanistan, a SIGAR review found.
But $2 billon of that was essentially wasted, according to the review, given those buildings and vehicles later fell into disrepair or were no longer being used as intended.
Equipment left behind
The exact value of the weapons and equipment abandoned by the US was not immediately known, but it is likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, on Monday rattled off a list of equipment the US left at Kabul’s airport when the final troops flew out.
A C-RAM defensive system, officially known as a Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar, was among the pieces of equipment left behind. The C-RAM, which detects incoming fire, had been activated a day before the withdrawal to destroy five rockets fired by militants near the airport.
About 70 MRAPS, which are Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles designed to protest against blasts, were abandoned by US troops, too.
At least 27 light tactical vehicles known as Humvees, and 73 aircrafts, including helicopters, were also left.
Footage has since emerged of the Taliban inspecting weapons and piles of military gear and uniforms dumped in a Kabul airport hangar.
The Taliban had already seized Blackhawk helicopters that were estimated to be worth $6 million during their rapid onslaught to take control of the country.
Of the equipment left abandoned at Kabul’s airport, Gen. McKenzie said troops had deactivated all of them before fleeing.
“It’s a complex procedure, complex and time-intensive procedure, to break down those systems … so we de-militarized those systems so that they’ll never be used again,” McKenzie said.
“We just felt it more important to protect our forces that to bring those systems back.”
Those able to evacuate:
More than 122,000 people were evacuated by the US and its allies in the past two months, the White House said Monday.
The US said more than 79,000 civilians had been flown out of Kabul on US military aircrafts since Aug. 14, including 6,000 Americans and 73,500 Afghans and other-country citizens.
How many Americans are left stranded:
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken estimated that fewer than 200, and possibly closer to 100, American citizens wanted to leave Afghanistan but were unable to get on the last flights out.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/08/31/the-cost-of-the-afghanistan-war-lives-money-and-equipment-lost/ on .