Members of the armed forces carry a transfer case containing the remains of SFC Javier Jaguar Gutierrez of San Antonio, Texas, who was honored in a dignified transfer along with the remains of SFC Antonio Rey Rodriguez as they were both killed in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, U.S. February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

Over the past 20 years, the American military mission in Afghanistan constituted the longest war for the United States in its history, against the background of the September 2001 attacks, and the death toll in it reached tens of thousands.

In the words of the Associated Press, the United States was borrowing money to cover the costs of that war, indicating that generations of Americans will be burdened to pay for it.

And now the Taliban insurgent movement controls most of the country, before reaching the deadline for the withdrawal of the United States, on August 31.

Human cost

Over a period of nearly 20 years, the number of US military deaths in Afghanistan reached 2,448 soldiers, as of April 2021.

During the same period, about 3,846 American contractors were killed.

The losses of the Afghan army and police were estimated at 66,000 dead.

The human losses of the elements of the allied countries and NATO reached 1144 people.

The war also caused the deaths of more than 47 thousand Afghans to 51,191 dead.

The war also witnessed the deaths of 444 aid workers and 72 journalists.

Changes in the Afghan landscape

Since the United States and its allies toppled the Taliban rule 20 years ago, the newborn death rate has fallen to about 50 per year, from 100 in 2000.

According to the agency, the percentage of Afghan girls who are able to read has reached 37 percent.

Congress Record

Congress authorized US forces to pursue those involved in the September attacks, a week after they occurred, on September 18, 2001.

Not once did the US Congress vote to declare war in Afghanistan.

While lawmakers in the Senate Defense Subcommittee have discussed the costs of the Vietnam War 42 times, the same lawmakers have discussed the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq until mid-summer 2021 only five times.

War on credit

The late US President Harry Truman raised the highest tax rates to cover the costs of the Korean War, temporarily, to 92 percent.

The late President Lyndon Johnson temporarily raised the same tax rates to cover the cost of the war in Vietnam to 77 percent.

The former president, George W. Bush, cut tax rates for the wealthy by at least 8 percent, instead of raising them with the beginning of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

By 2050, estimates of US war loan interest rates are expected to reach $6.5 trillion.

The wars are over.. and their costs remain
It is estimated that the United States has committed over $2 trillion in health care, disability, burial, and other costs to nearly 4 million veterans in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Those costs are expected to peak after 2048.

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