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5,500 U.S. Troops to Remain in Afghanistan for $14.6B
Earlier this month, the White House formally announced that the U.S. will retain more troops in Afghanistan than previously planned. Through the end of 2016, there will be 5,500 U.S. troops in the country, considerably more than the earlier figure of 1,000 troops.
The semantics are important here. In speaking to CBS News, the administration officials said "the American war in Afghanistan is over," but the U.S. commitment to the Afghan government remains. The increase in troops will cost roughly $14.6 billion, about $4.5 billion more than the administration's previous plan. The troops will be divided between four bases in Kabul, Bagram, Jalalabad, and Kandahar. The objective of the mission is to fight terrorism threats from al Qaeda and ISIS, while also continuing to train Afghan forces as they fight the Taliban.
Terrorist acts have been on the rise since December 2014, when NATO ended its combat mission. U.S. officials are opening talks with NATO allies to possibly provide additional international forces in Afghanistan in 2017.
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11 (fas.org)
"With enactment of the FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act on January 1, 2014 (H.R. 3547/P.L. 113-73), Congress has approved appropriations for the past 13 years of war [...]"
The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: $1.6 Trillion (motherjones.com)
"The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS)."
Americans have yet to grasp the horrific magnitude of the 'war on terror' (america.aljazeera.com)
"Even as the U.S. expands its military involvement in the Middle East and delays the troop drawdown from Afghanistan, the staggering human toll of the U.S. "war on terrorism" remains poorly understood."
The $5 Trillion War on Terror (time.com)
"Last week, the Pentagon told you the costs of the war on terror had eclipsed $1 trillion."