Thursday, September 20, 2018
Perspective

2,047 American lives and half a trillion dollars

Those are two of the heavy prices we're paying after fighting in Afghanistan for 11 years. In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed that by the end of next year, "Our war in Afghanistan will be over." And within 12 months, U.S. troop levels will drop by half — from the current 66,000 to 32,000 — which is in line with the plan to make Afghanistan responsible for its own security by the close of 2014. A day before Obama made his promise, the independent, nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a report card on the situation. Here are some key points, including these two: The United States has so far spent more than half a trillion dollars there, and of the money that the country of Afghanistan itself has spent over the past five years — which totals $73 billion — nearly two-thirds came from the United States. Only a dime on the dollar came from Afghanistan.

64% Percentage of Afghanistan's own spending covered by U.S. tax dollars.

10% Percentage of Afghanistan's own spending that it covers.

72% Percentage of Afghans who are illiterate.

13% Percentage of Afghan women who can read and write.

$19,000 to $153,000. Cost of removing a single U.S. vehicle during the withdrawal.

$1.2 million. That's the cost of maintaining one U.S. trooper for one year in Afghanistan, according to our own PolitiFact research.

Read the full report at tinyurl.com/gao-afghan.

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