Leaving Afghanistan to Cost US $7 Billion

Ongoing Fighting to Increase Costs

The US military never does anything cheap, and that includes withdrawing troops. Officials had been reporting vaguely about the costs of Afghan withdrawal rising, and analysts now say it could cost in excess of $7 billion.

Though it may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, with the Pentagon spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the occupation annually, $7 billion is an enormous amount of money to spend just on leaving the country.

Analysts say the cost is a function not just of the enormous amount of equipment sent to Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, but also of the ongoing combat in the nation. The Taliban may want the US out, but they don’t care if they make it cheap.

The high costs have previously been talked up by Army officials as a possible reason to stay, warning that with sequestration they “can’t afford” to leave. Given the continued war still costs far, far more than pullout this excuse is unlikely to fly with too many people, however.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.