U.S. spends $1 million per soldier in Afghanistan, says government report

By Staff Writers
RawStory.com

The monthly cost of the US presence in Afghanistan isn't quite as much as the planned 2009 bonuses at Goldman Sachs.

At $3.6 billion a month, however, the annual total does exceed the firm's planned $23 billion in bonuses for the year.

That's the taxpayer toll of the US war in Afghanistan according to the Congressional Research Service, which released their findings on Wednesday.

More telling, perhaps, is the per-soldier calculation the group revealed — the amount spent for each US soldier now costs American taxpayers $1,000,000 a year. The average was calculated based on the current US troop load in Afghanistan of 51,000 soldiers.

The total boots on the ground of American forces is expected to rise with a fresh complement of servicemembers authorized by President Barack Obama, at 68,000; the number could go yet higher if Obama approves requests from generals in the field. Pentagon leaders are calling for as many as 40,000 additional troops.

Also notable in the Congressional report is that the US is spending just $12,000 for each Afghani soldier, as opposed to the $1 million is spends per American servicemember, according to Steve Daggett, a researcher with the Congressional Research Service cited by the D.C.-based newspaper, The Hill.

October 15, 2009 — Return to cover.
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