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It’s Official: Afghanistan Is More Expensive To Rebuild Than World War II Europe
When World War II came to a close, the United States put up roughly $120 billion in today’s dollars to rebuild Europe under the vaunted Marshall Plan. That still-celebrated project not only restored much of the continent physically after the war’s ravages, it also launched an era of economic prosperity that modernized much of the developed West.
Afghanistan is a different story.
“Adjusted for inflation, American spending to reconstruct Afghanistan now exceeds the total expended to rebuild all of Western Europe under the Marshall Plan,” military historian Andrew Bacevich writes in a New York Times op-ed published Monday. He goes on:
For this, over the past 15 years, nearly 2,400 American soldiers have died, and 20,000 more have been wounded… Why has Washington ceased to care about the Afghan war
The answer, it seems to me, is this: As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus — elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders — accept war as a normal condition.
Since its launch in October 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom and its successor, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, have run up a tab of $686 billion, with $113 billion going toward reconstruction since 2002. Adjusted for inflation, that figure exceeds the Marshall Plan’s $120 billion, according to a 2016 report from the inspector general.
And the United States’ objectives are nowhere near completion in Afghanistan.
“To have any hope of surviving, the Afghan government will for the foreseeable future remain almost completely dependent on outside support,” Bacevich writes. “The United States has invested $70 billion in rebuilding Afghan security forces, [but] only 63% of the country’s districts are under government control, with significant territory lost to the Taliban over the past year.”
The country continues to face widescale corruption, and will continue to rely on military aid. Most recent estimates put U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan at 8,400, but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will soon set new troop levels.
The U.S. objective in Afghanistan “is the same now as it was in 2001: to prevent terrorists from using the country's territory to attack our homeland,” write Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain in a March 14 op-ed for The Washington Post. “We seek to achieve this objective by supporting Afghan governance and security institutions as they become capable of standing on their own, defending their country and defeating our common terrorist enemies with less U.S. assistance over time.” If Bacevich’s analysis is anywhere near correct, our kids may be chasing those same objectives years from now.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.
‘That cavalier misdirection cannot stand’ — Washingtonians ask judge to reduce ‘extremely noisy’ Navy Growler flights
The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.
COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.
According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.
"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.
A 26-year-old man died after he failed to surface from waters off Molokai while participating in a scuba diving tour over the weekend.
He has been identified as Duane Harold Parsley II and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, according to the Maui Police Department.
LOS ANGELES — For decades, Japanese American activists have marked Feb. 19 as a day to reflect on one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.
On that date in 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the forced removal of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes and businesses.
On Thursday, the California Assembly will do more than just remember.