How much did the war in Afghanistan cost in lives and money?

Afghans perform prayers at the funeral for the victims killed by an airstrike called in to protect Afghan and U.S. forces during a raid on suspected Taliban militants, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, November 4, 2016. Photo by REUTERS/Nasir Wakif.

America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan is over — at what cost? The U.S. spent more than $2 trillion total as of April, and billions went into training local forces and giving Afghans jobs in this now-collapsed government, civilian administration. The financial spending also doesn’t stop after U.S. troops leave a country. There are also casualties: In Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, about 2,400 U.S. military members died, as well as nearly 4,000 U.S. contractors. These numbers are from Harvard University’s Kennedy School and the Brown University Costs of War project.

Plus more than 71,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians died as a direct result of the war. 

Credits

Guest:

  • Catherine Lutz - co-founder and co-director of the Costs of War Initiative at Brown University