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Eight Years of U.S. War in Afghanistan: The Dollars Add Up (PHOTOS)

With the passage of the FY 2010 Department of Defense budget, total U.S. spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will exceed $1 trillion by March of next year.

Mazur-e-Sharif is where the first American, CIA Agent Johnny Micheal Spann, died eight years ago in Afghanistan. The battle for Mazur-e-Sharif was considered important, not only because it is the home of the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or "Blue Mosque", a sacred Muslim site, but also because it is the location of two main airports and a major road that leads into Uzbekistan. All photos from the Mazur-e_sharif area. photo by Tim King

(NORTHAMPTON, Mass.) - October 7, 2009 marks the eighth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. National Priorities Project (NPP) analysts find that, to date, U.S. military operations in Afghanistan have cost U.S. taxpayers $228 billion, $60.2 billion of which was spent in FY 2009 alone. Monthly costs in Afghanistan during FY 2009 averaged $5 billion, up from $3.5 billion per month in FY 2008.

In FY 2010, U.S. military spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is projected to be $130 billion. In the past, funding was split between the two U.S. wars at a 70/30 ratio, with the majority of U.S. dollars going to operations in Iraq. In FY 2010, this ratio is projected to shift, with Afghanistan war spending accounting for over 50 percent of total costs.

NPP has a host of Afghanistan War-related resources, including:

Cost of War Counters: Afghanistan, Iraq and combined,

War spending trade-offs: state, Congressional district and more than 1,000 cities and towns, helping to convey the magnitude and meaning of budget figures, (see below)

"Quick facts" about Afghanistan: with troop levels, annual funding, etc.,

Cost of War in Afghanistan: a primer on both the human and economic costs of war,

β€œThe numbers are staggering. $228 billion in Afghanistan war spending equals 800,000 4-year university scholarships for U.S. students,” notes Jo Comerford. β€œ$228 billion also means $469.1 million from Boston, MA taxpayers which is the equivalent of healthcare for 140,600 people; $1.5 billion from Alameda County, CA folks which equals 4,341 affordable housing units; or $89.2 million from people in Evanston, IL which equals 1,372 elementary school teachers.”

With the passage of the FY 2010 Department of Defense budget, total U.S. spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will exceed $1 trillion by March of next year.

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Scott October 8, 2009 10:14 am (Pacific time)

will politicians and MSM turn the spotlight onto Iranian support against American troops on the battlefield in Afghanistan, or keep it hushed so that the hopes of "talks" with Iran might continue to have a glimmer of hope?

Editor: Scott, the U.S. invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq in particular had done nothing against us.  Do you really suspect that somebody in a neighboring Islamic country wouldn't toss some supplies and support their way?  Do you remember or know in the first place that these nations are not friends with one another?  They are traditional enemies.  That isn't the case as much in Afghanistan, but it still holds true.  Iran never attacked us, we blasted one of their airliners loaded with civilians out of the sky.  The U.S. and Britain were dogging Iran after WWII and not paying the full agreed upon price for oil.  Then they had their first democratically elected president take office, he threatened to nationalize Iran's oil (Imagine that, Iranians wanting control of their national resources)  We "took out" that president, took the Shah, put him in a CIA camp for nine months, and then reinstalled him as an American puppet leader, which ended with the Revolution of 1979.  The U.S. and the U.K. caused every bit of this.  But even beyond all of that, I know that if I were born there, I'd be fighting the occupation.  Anyone who wouldn't is less than a man.  I don't see anything there that I don't see within our own borders.  Maybe we need to concentrate on fixing our own country.  I think anyone who roots for war in Iran is a POS.  They are anti-American and into abusing American forces, already so damned tired from the needless wars we are already fighting.  But if Americans want WWIII and the end of the world as we know it, then they have a recipe; keep Fox News on where they lie and directly, specifically mistranslate statements like those of President Ahmadinejad.  Americans are treated by sheep.  

Sam H October 8, 2009 9:39 am (Pacific time)

Has anyone taken the "normal" operating costs to keep our military functioning if not engaged in Iraq/Afghanistan and compare the two? Of course this would not include the horrible loss of life and the wounded, plus their ongoing costs way into the future? There are expentitures that are always going to be going on as well as loss of life, for example during training, even average mortality rates when you deal with millions of personnel. It seems to me that we need to enlarge our military forces and keep the state guard units here. Far better to have the better trained regular military involved in conflicts than these guard units who just don't have the time to get better trained. It would be a far more efficient way to use our resources.

Anonymous October 7, 2009 4:59 pm (Pacific time)

the UN is useless when it comes to only goes to prove, that if the UN cannot handle israel, then the UN is worthless. On another note: how are all the obama supporters doing NOW??? yeesh

Henry Ruark October 7, 2009 9:28 am (Pacific time)

To all: Wasting wars have been death for so many governance systems over centuries that we once began a United Nations dedicated to cooperative efforts for all on rational, reasonable basis, with clear and certain representation to make it work out. WE in the U.S. have long allowed that effort to be frustrated and set to naught. Perhaps we should return to that fundamental cooperative principle, reflecting all we have learned in all those past centuries. Does any rational person now really question the basic and strongest possible motivating and activating principle for further progress of all the world's civilizations ??

Scott October 7, 2009 8:14 am (Pacific time)

... and yet if we do nothing or just "talk", which is an alternative, the war on the west will continue without our resistance.

G-2/3: October 7, 2009 5:06 am (Pacific time)

It's time to get out of there.

Daniel Johnson October 7, 2009 2:15 am (Pacific time)

The loss is not to the "US Govt" but rather to the American people as a whole. Think of what that kind of money could have done, directed in positive ways to society at large. The American people have been made into suckers and need to be jolted into awareness of the larger world.

Mark Heinrich October 7, 2009 12:55 am (Pacific time)

To fully comprehend the dollar impact of this war, you must also factor in the billions of dollars incurred by other Nations in the coalition. Add to this the death toll of these other countries and you see that this has a far greater impact than just what the US Govt has lost.

Tim King: Thank you for pointing out that important information Mark.

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