The Afghanistan War cost has been increasing steadily in numbers, not just financially but also in the human cost where the lives of veterans are drastically affected by injuries received while on a tour of duty.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, some people are wondering if illegal immigrants are treated better than US military veterans.
Studies have shown that $103 billion has been put into the Afghanistan War, and that’s just rebuilding the country and not the whole icky war part. John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), says the reconstruction of Afghanistan “is more money than we have spent on reconstruction for any one country in the history of the United States.” In fact, the next three countries on the list who are receiving help – Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan – receive less money combined when compared to Afghanistan.
Sopko says an additional $18 billion is being promised currently and it’s possible that another $6 to $10 billion will be spent each year for years to come. To put the funding of the Afghanistan War in perspective, Sopko says we’re footing the bill for a good percentage of everything the country’s own government would and could provide:
“U.S. reconstruction funding amounted to $15 billion — 75 percent of Afghanistan’s GDP. Sustaining this assistance will overwhelm the Afghan government’s budget. At these levels, if the Afghan government were to dedicate all of its domestic revenue toward sustaining the Afghan army and police, it still could only pay for about a third of the cost. “
But how much will the Iraq and Afghanistan War cost in the long run? Last year, Harvard researchers considered that very question and they believe the long term cost will be $4 to $6 trillion. According to Linda J. Bilme, the cost of both wars was around $2 trillion already but the biggest cost will be providing ongoing medical care and disability benefits for America’s veterans:
“As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives. The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come. Historically, the bill for these costs has come due many decades later. Payments to Vietnam and first Gulf War veterans are still climbing.”
Veterans of course deserve to be taken care of, but the money has to come from somewhere and with the Federal government’s current financial woes it’s possible that VA benefits will be squeezed to the breaking point. As an example, the minimum monthly payment for someone on disabled veterans benefits is $2,858 if they are 100 percent disabled. But extra money is given to those who suffered from amputations or other special injuries:
“Special monthly compensation payments vary widely and can be tough to estimate. The loss of a single foot, hand or eye is worth $101.50 a month. Two missing legs can generate an additional payment of about $1,000-$1,300 a month. Missing arms are worth an extra $1,600-$1,800.”
To put this all into perspective, the cost of the Afghanistan War will indeed be long term, but the US government is still paying relatives of Civil War veterans even though it ended around 150 years ago. Are you surprised we are spending this much?