Afghan War’s Massive Costs an Issue as Promised ‘Drawdown’ Looms

10 Years In, Congress Starts to Wonder if $10 Billion a Month Is Too Expensive

The Afghan War is as it has been for the last 10 years, an unmitigated disaster that top officials are forever promising will become a runaway success at some unspecified future date. Somehow, that doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.

That’s because as the Obama Administration’s promised July drawdown date looms, there is growing Congressional disquiet about the out of control costs of continuing the conflict, some $10 billion per month. This was reflected in a recent House vote which saw a demand to end the war in Afghanistan come within just 9 votes of passing.

With more votes on the horizon, the administration is said to be considering following through with the drawdown not so much because the situation on the ground is favorable (whether claiming grim failure or cautious improvement, all officials seem to agree on the need to escalate at all times), but because the costs are simply fueling too much Congressional opposition.

Military officials caution that reducing the number of troops would pose a grave, albeit unspecific threat, and also claim that the reductions wouldn’t necessarily mean meaningful savings in the costly conflict. With the administration on the hook for some $8 billion annually, and basically forever, just to pay for the enormous Afghan Army they insisted on creating, the costs will remain an issue for years to come.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of