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The war in Afghanistan in numbers: economic costs and human lives, 20 years later

The United States combat mission that comes to an end in Afghanistan after 20 years was the longest war from the country. The Asian country is back on the international radar since in recent days the Taliban rebels showed their strength with a fierce offensive in which they took control of much of the country.

Until a few weeks ago, American civilians tended to forget about the war that bled the country for years and received far less oversight from the US Congress than the Vietnam War. But left tens of thousands of deaths.

And because Washington borrowed nearly all of the funds to finance it, generations of Americans will be burdened with repaying the debt.

Here is a look at the numbers of the war in Afghanistan, as the Taliban rebels, in a lightning offensive, captured much of the country and plan to continue their advance before August 31, the date that the United States imposed to end their participation in the combat and accelerates the evictions of Americans and Afghan allies.

Much of the data was provided by Linda Bilmes of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Political Science and the Brown University Costs of War project.

Since between 2003 and 2011 the United States fought simultaneously in Afghanistan and Iraq, some figures cover both wars after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

Human costs

Members of the US forces who died in Afghanistan as of April: 2,448.

American Contractors: 3,846.

Afghan military and police: 66,000.

Other members of allied forces, including NATO and other member states: 1,145.

Afghan civilians: 47,245.

Taliban and other opposition fighters: 51,191.

Humanitarian workers: 444.

Journalists: 72.

Congress and the war in Afghanistan

Since September 18, 2001, when Congress authorized US forces to prosecute those responsible for the 9/11 attack, US lawmakers have never voted to declare war on Afghanistan.

Number of times legislators from the Budget Appropriations Defense Subcommittee addressed the costs of the Vietnam War during the conflict: 42.

Number of times lawmakers from the same subcommittee mentioned the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through mid-summer 2021: 5.

Number of times the Senate Finance Committee mentioned the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from September 11, 2001 to mid-summer 2021: 1.

The expenses of the wars

In the past, the governments of the United States decided Increase taxes to face the cost of the wars they fought in other countries.

Percentage that President Harry Truman temporarily raised tax rates to pay for the Korean war: 92%.

Percentage that President Lyndon Johnson temporarily raised tax rates to pay for the Vietnam War: 77%.

Percentage that President George W. Bush reduced tax rates for the richest, instead of increasing them, at the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iran: At least 8%.

Estimated amount of the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the United States financed with loans until 2020: 2 trillion dollars.

Estimated interest for 2050: Above 6.5 trillion dollars.

Source: AP

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