The US Has Spent Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars In Afghanistan

$117 billion. That is how much money the United States of America has spent on “rebuilding” efforts in the war-torn nation of Afghanistan. The figure almost rivals the $130 billion in donations and loans the US committed to the Marshall Plan in 1948, which was used to fund reconstruction efforts in seventeen nation-states across Europe in the ruinous aftermath of World War II. However of the vast fortune invested in Afghanistan at least $2 billion has gone into projects of dubious value or need – or straight into unknown pockets. According to John Sopko, head of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), there have been:

…major failures in Afghanistan that have cost U.S. taxpayers billions…

The failures include spending $8.5 billion to combat opium production, he said. Fifteen years later production is near all-time highs. The U.S. spent $400 million to buy and retrofit 20 Italian cargo planes for the Afghan Air Force, which turned out to be “death traps,” he said. Scrapping the planes cost an additional $100,000 each.

A $43 million compressed natural gas filling station was built, even though no cars in Afghanistan ran on natural gas. And $6 million was spent to transport and support rare Italian goats to breed with Afghan goats in an attempt to improve Afghanistan’s cashmere quality. Many of the goats died, and the project director quit in frustration

Of course, the figures above do not include the actual war-fighting expenses of the US military since the invasion of the country in 2001. As of 2016 that may stand as high as $600 billion.

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29 comments

  1. Things were actually better under the Taliban, who were ruthless in suppressing drugs, did not tolerate any kind of violence, and did ttry some kind of development. It takes amazing effort, to spend that kind of cash, and end up many times worse than the Taliban

    1. I sincerely doubt things were better under the Taliban. Banning television, music and cinema, forbidding girls from going to school and women from working, restricting women’s access to health care and introducing public executions and amputations is hardly to be considered better than what the US has attempted, albeit ham-handedly, over the past decade and a half.

      1. Undoubtedly some of the things the taliban are supposed to have done appear very wrong from our western perspective but even from here it should be apparent that the likes of banning TV and cinema to name but two things could be seen as a good thing. Would the country be much improved if the masses were to be indoctrinated daily with copious amounts of CNN and fox news not to mention the infamous British Bullshit Corporation?. Who gives the imperialist west the right to storm into any country and force their ways on the people. God knows America and Britain are anything but good roll models for society. The problem is the fascist west need a taliban and their likes to continue their genocidal march towards whatever their deluded aims are.

        1. Whether or not one likes television or cinema, it’s doesn’t bode well for society when government bans them, and metes out draconian punishments to those who disobey those bans. And do you believe that the average Afghan really wanted the Taliban in charge, once they learned what the Taliban was all about? Talk about forcing your ways on people.

          1. Suppose the west’s form of justice is more fitting?. Bomb them into oblivion. Make no distinction between men women or children. Use the Kitson method of terror as practised in the north east of my country. Arm every sychopath you find and then refuse to hold them accountable for their crimes. I remember not too long ago the mother of all parliaments banned a number of people in my country from speaking and we know the Draconian measures used to enforce their ban. The average Irishman,I would contend, never wanted the Brits in charge because we all know what they are about. I think also uncle Sam’s record of justice administration in some south American countries and Vietnam really qualifies them to dictate to others how to live. Forcing your ways on people? Get a grip. Kettle pot black?. Hypocrites would be more appropriate. I have never visited Afghanistan so really I shouldn’t be discussing something I can’t verify. All I can go on is second hand information. I have however met a number of Afghan people and they were without exception some of the nicest people I have ever spent time with. Not at all what the main stream media would portray them as. And the funny thing is one of them is a female doctor, got educated in her own country also. Very strange that. Maybe they are really bad people because they refuse to be dominated by the Hero’s from the west?.

            1. Don’t confuse the average Afghan with the Taliban. I have no doubt that most Afghanis want what most people around the world want: to live in peace and a better world for their children. That was not the goal of the Taliban.

              And, as I noted in a previous comment, the US’s efforts have been ham-handed, at best. The intention – to remove a theocracy that ill treated its people (to say the least), and replace it with something more representative – was a good one. That it hasn’t worked out as hoped is hardly surprising. Should the west, be it the US, other western powers or the UN, sit by and allow malevolent governments to run roughshod over their subjects? That is a difficult issue. I’d like the US to stay out of other countries’ problems, but I’d also like it if innocent people weren’t subjugated, tortured and killed by despicable regimes.

        2. Yes, but there was some justification for action against the Taliban-led government in Kabul post-9/11 though the failure to resolve issues via negotiations were a serious mistake by Washington.

          The “West”, so-called, may be far from perfect but Afghanistan under the Taliban was in a pretty awful state, even by local standards. I’m not saying it is any better now, considerably worse in some ways, but we shouldn’t let the counterproductive or unjustified actions of the US give a free pass to its opponents either.

        3. This is typical of the racist comments spewed by so called “anti fascist white european elites”; the attitude that people in Muslim countries are too stupid to realize that Fox News and the BBC are nothing but spokespeople for the Western Imperialist elite, and lack the common sense or intelligence to filter out bullshit from corporate media, unlike so called “enlightened” people such as yourself? Get a grip. America had every right to go in there after 9/11, but as usual, they fucked up the end game, which is sort of an American tradition. What doesn’t help or address the problem are so called “elites” such as yourself who are more than willing to institute a form of censorship, for the dumb native’s own good. How magnanimous of you. Oh, and in the future? If you wish to appear somewhat credible on any issue, Pat? It’s spelled “role” model, not “roll”. Another holdover from an Imperialist past, as all comments on this thread are in English, not Irish. Look to your own house, before casting rocks at the stupid, fat Americans across the pond. You have more than enough work still left in Ireland to keep yourself busy.

      2. Yes, I’d think along similar lines. The Taliban were very much an Islamic Khmer Rouge. The United States was undoubtedly mistaken in its handling of Afghanistan, though I think the US should be cut a lot of slack given the shock of 9/11. Reading accounts of the period it seems that Washington was at a loss, stunned and dismayed – panic-stricken – by the events of that day and subsequently, and the neo-cons seized their chance to drive their own perverse ideological agenda.

        There was some justification for international “police action” in Afghanistan. If the US had stopped at that we might be living in a very different world now. Unfortunately the predecessors of the alt-right dragged the country into a more general War on Terror and the disaster in Iraq.

    2. Ruthless in suppressing everyone’s but their own drug trade, yes. That is, after all, how they finance everything, just like every other social construct there. They only tolerated the violence they meted out, that is true as well. They like cutting off girls’ noses who dare to try to learn how to read, mass decapitations, and extermination of entire villages. Occasionally even doing the old nailing babies to wooden doors bit. Nice, benevolent individuals, who don’t tolerate violence. Just about anyone aside from them, IS, Al
      Qaeda, Kim Il Jung, and other nutcases would look at that as wrong, regardless of origin. Not that I am one to adore America’s and Russia’s desires to be the world’s “benevolent benefactors,” but overall the suppression of the Taliban has, albeit, little, improved the average Afghan life. The Americans have been utilising drug trade favours as incentive to undermine the Taliban since they have been there, so no surprise it has gone up instead of down. Then there is the usual corruption, along with selling gas to their own forces in Iraq for quadruple the price etc. They love to steal their tax-payers’ money. Lastly, the Marshal plan money would be trillions in today’s currency.

      1. I would like to know where you get your info and beliefs regarding other nations? Probably from the same media that regularly demean and debase Irish republicanism? Therein lies the problem of the Irish. They regularly complain about the ruling establishment and its media concerning its anti republican narrative and yet regularly suck in the same propaganda that those said entities spout about other countries. Irony is lost on some people.
        I for one don’t know much about other far of countries either but I do know the western society I live in is full of liars and cheats, and they also seem to be in abundance amongst the institutions etc that matter. But the fact remains that after NATO bombed Afghanistan opium production rose dramatically. It’s well known the CIA is heavily involved in the drug trade. They use it to finance their operations, over throw govts that are not compliant to them and perhaps also to subdue westerners in general. The Taliban was not involved in 9/11 and was conveniently blamed due to its association with CIA agent bin laden. Set up? Stranger things have happened, just look at the dirty tricks in Ireland.
        Ask yourself how the taliban, despite being bombarded for years, manages to survive and grow? They can’t do it by ruling by fear alone so they must surely have a sizeable support amongst the masses? Remember Afghanistan has been under the jackboot of western imperialism for centuries and always manages to drive out the invader. They can’t do that with just a handful of ‘nutcases’ so they must be of the people of Afghanistan?
        As for North Korea, it’s very lazy just to fall into the trap and label those from that region ‘nutcases'(as our lying media want us to believe) without learning about their history too. Just like Afghanistan, Korea has faced and thus fear westerners and their ways. And they too are justified in telling the west to fxxx off.

        1. I wish you would have actually read my post instead of just condemning it for the small improvement curtailing the Taliban has made in that country. I don’t know any Afghans (and I know quite a few) who like the Taliban for the simple reason that they are very much ISIS 1.0 (given, most of them fled the country). Afghans are fun-loving people who cherish music, dance and the good times, very much like the Irish. The nutcases are the Taliban, ISIS, and all the other ilk that thrives on suppressing other people for the heck of it. I cannot think of regular people from any culture who appreciate that, and I am familiar with many cultures, as I am very well traveled (and not as a standard guided tourist, but in a non-profit aid capacity). As stated in my post above, I am not a fan of Western Imperialism, nor have I ever been, as much of the suffering I have seen was a result of unqualified interventions into foreign cultures, had they been well-intentioned or not. The victims of these endeavours have every right to tell the West to f..k off. I did not blanket-label the people in the various countries and areas nutcases, but gave specific examples, like North Korea’s leader, who is hardly the image of sanity or benevolence (feeding people to dogs – really?). Nor are people that disfigure, rape, and murder women and children who’s only offense is being female and wanting an education, or those enjoying music and dance, sane or benevolent. I am sure Mr. Murphy’s doctor friend can explain that one to you. I cannot help you if you can’t see that. Especially disappointing, since the suppression of language, music, and dance was a technique used by the Britz in our country. As for the masses, it is no different in Afghanistan as anywhere else, they really don’t get input in any of the wars. They are too busy to survive, and have no money. The Taliban are financed by the drug trade and global interest groups that also furnish them with fighters, that is why they are still around. That the Americans levied the drug trade to manipulate the environment is also part of my post above. Furthermore, if you look at my history on this blog alone, I am as critical of the press as you are. I am, however, also critical of the conspiracy theorists, as items stated as fact should have more basis than personal opinion or mere conjecture. I am not buying any of the political drivel spouted by any of those financed by big money, no matter what side of the fence they are claiming to be on. I am a “conservative” Republican, believing in a rational, democratic, united, socialist, and Gaelic Ireland.

          1. Lots of words there but alas nothing else other than we must believe what is reported or else we are conspiracy theory headers. Brilliant. The underlining theme re drug trade in Afghanistan, from your point of view is that the yanks used the drug trade to ‘undermine’ the taliban, I.e a neccessary evil? And we just accept that as truth then? Brilliant.
            As for Korea? Again no evidence forthcoming about anything your man in Korea is doing or has done just what is ‘reported’? Again brilliant.

            1. P.s a group of Saudi Arabians endeavoured to attack the twin towers and the blame was dumped upon a group of afghans? Now that’s was a conspiracy theory sucked in quite easily by some especially as it was ‘reported’ as evidence/proof or whatever.

              1. Afghans weren’t blamed for 9/11; they were blamed for sheltering those who caused it, and then not giving them up when asked to. If you’re going to comment on something, learn to know the facts beforehand.

              2. Michael, I would suggest you read up on the side effects of the medication you consume as it is frying your head and accentuating your illusions of grandeur.

              3. Ah, when one has nothing intelligent to offer? They turn to insults. It’s a feeble defense mechanism, covering a massive inferiority complex. What’s wrong, Wolf tone? You’re so emasculated at home, this is your only venue to lash out? Learn something about a topic before opening your mouth; your ignorance is deafening.

              4. “Your ignorance is deafening” eh that’s a new one lol.
                Seeing as the afghans weren’t blamed for 9/11, according to you, could you enlighten us as to why they were blamed for sheltering a CIA agent that was blamed for 9/11 albeit he initially denied being behind the attack? Further to that why didn’t the great US bomb Pakistan like they did Aghanistan for actually sheltering bin laden the ‘rogue'(no laughing at the back) CIA agent? Btw, seeing as the US got their man, why the fxxx are they still bombing Afghanistan?
                Moving on from that, could you explain why the great US bombed the life out of Iraq when they had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11? And please do not insult people’s intelligence by claiming Iraq was a threat to the west etc.
                Btw, could you enlighten me as to where you obtain your ‘facts’ on such topics that you so like to impress upon people your superior knowledge of?
                P.s I will stand by my insult that you are indeed on some sort of medication…..probably mixed with cheese out of a can.(sorry I can’t help it, my massive inferiority complex compels me!)

              5. The Taliban were told to turn over Bin Laden; or else. They didn’t comply. End of story. And I understand your severely limited intellect would conclude you to jump to the belief that because I say the US was justified initially into going into Afghanistan, that means I also supported the immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq, or the fact that our relationship with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia did not change at all. And while the US is still bombing Afghanistan, it does so to the tune of 7 Billion dollars a year in aid (this is the biggest lump sum in one year given to any country on Earth; go figure); much like our approach to the war in Southeast Asia, and we all know how that turned out. And again, the insults. I could even go so far to say that being born and raised in NYC, I can understand your inferiority complex inspired whimpering, childish outbursts long associated with some backwards, anti semitic bog offspring educated (and I use that term lightly) by the Catholic Church. You seem fit to judge people from other countries, yet ignore the partition in your own, or the fact that no matter how much America has gone ass backwards since November with the election of Lord Cheeto, you are part of a dysfunctional, failed society that has been lied to over and over again for the past 80 yrs by your 2 biggest political parties and you morons keep voting them into power, your country is still occupied and divided while most of you LAZY people seek no change to the status quo, without ever seriously trying to seek an alternative; plus, the fact that your rant is in ENGLISH. I know why most Irish support the Palestinians; it’s because the jews have more pride in their tribe than the Irish do and brought their language back, while most of you West British Anglophile sellouts continue your daily lives in the tongue of the oppressor, and it kills you anti semites that the Jews have done something you never could, or would. But then again, most Irish are too stupid to accept the fact that they’ve been sold out for centuries by a foreign, pedophile church in Rome who made deals with the enemy, while Ireland’s children paid for it. God forbid you morons start to think for yourselves. Also, cheese out of a can? That’s probably a step up in the world for you; jealousy rears its ugly head.

          2. Ar an sliabh, just wondering do you prefer the daily mail to the sun?. Or do both play a major part in your ongoing education?.

            1. Why so hostile? There was absolutely no need for such a negative interpretation of what I wrote, or to take it so personal. My stance is very close to yours and Wolf Tone’s when it comes to the media or the wanton disrespect of other people’s sovereignty by the “so superior” west, or, for that matter, in many of the other postings on this blog. I am not, however, going to laud a brutal, zealous people for acts that are inexcusable on a human level by any imagination, regardless of their origin, including the Americans and the Taliban. The atrocities committed by both the Taliban and the North Korean regime are pretty much unilaterally reported by people and organisations from the entire political and social spectrum, not just the “usual suspects.” I know I am not telling you anything new in that regard. I trust and believe the Daily Mail, The Sun, The Independent, and all the other rags just as much as you do, but I also don’t trust conjectures of “black flag” attacks, and that all major players on the terror scene are CIA agents from sources that are not even identifiable. That does not necessarily mean certain ones are not indeed agents, and that particular conspiracy theories are necessarily wrong, it just means I remain highly skeptical of such information.

              1. In no way did I intend to appear hostile. And if I did I apologize. My intention is to attempt to make you realise the truth is not always what you are being led to believe. The first victim in conflict is truth. In our own country Irish men and women have been portrayed as something akin to animals for hundreds of years. Our fore father’s,according to London papers, ate there young. We were characterised as some sort of apes. We were slaughtered in hundreds of thousands and thrown of our land by ruthless invaders. We were starved in an unholy Holocaust in 1845 _ 1850. This the Victor called a famine. Every action the invader did in my country has been excused away as a noble deed. I and hundreds of thousands even millions know this not to be true. Why would they now decide to tell the truth?. Treat everything you read and see on TV etc with suscipion. Why do you think the powers that be want control of all news?. Without doubt there are evil regime’s all over the world but our own have not proved themselves otherwise. The taliban, north Korea, Libya Syria,Yemen,Iran, IRA, all evil. America,Britain France all good???????????

  2. The Taliban do seem to have been beyond the pale, nobody can deny that, and I won’t weep for them. The very fact that 100 billion couldn’t wipe them out shows that the Taliban isn’t just a military movement though. They obviously have deep and lasting support in the country, urges to dance notwithstanding. In fairness they were packed with the cream of psychos a quarter of the world’s population could throw up at the time they took over (the very same boys that made Libya then Syria and Iraq such a scary place recently). Maybe they would’ve pissed off or been killed off eventually and then when the rest of the Taliban had done their traditional Afghani score-settling things might’ve settled down. If the CIA was serious at all about bettering the lot of the Afghanis they could’ve achieved big things with their usual combo of money and force without dropping a single bomb. Let’s not kid ourselves, bettering the lot of Afghanis was way down their priorities.

    As for the media it’s hard not to agree with Wolfe Tone. The massive blatant unrepentant lies about WMDs and the hushing up that surrounded that (remember David Kelly) shows that we’re totally at the mercy of the suits in London, Washington, Moscow. Just look at the world today: Not a squeak about Yemen where the Saudis are committing mass genocide, not a squeak about the Stans where dictators have done grotesque things that put Kim in the shade, not a squeak about some of the Gulf States where the sheikhs personally torture peaceful protesters and where modern-day slavery is openly practiced.
    The worst thing is this trend can only get worse… God help the next generations.
    Keep writing Séamus!

  3. If you weren’t so blinded by your delusional hatred of Trump you would mention that Trump has a policy of ending wars for regime change and stupid interventionist misadventures. If anyone will end the moronic war in Afghanistan it will be Trump.

      1. His stepped up deployments in Afghanistan and Somalia are part of his campaign pledge to crush jihadists. As far North Korea his sabre rattling and compliments to Dear Leader have already reaped benefits. Kim Jong Un recently said he was open to talks.

    1. And you consider a useless raid in Yemen with just a week in office, bombing an unimportant airfield in Syria, and now talking tough on N. Korea are signs that he means to de escalate conflict? He’s doing what alot of American politicians have done before; when you’re are completely fucking up everything domestic, turn the ignorant american people’s attention towards foreign affair issues.

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