Taliban fighters sit at the desk vacated mere hours before by Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, that fled the country, Sunday, august 15, 2021.

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The Taliban, in a shocking blitzkrieg, have actually swept v Afghanistan in less than a month, the 300,000-man Afghan military all yet melting away in your path. Afghan chairman Ashraf Ghani, as he fled to Tajikistan over the weekend, conceded in a statement the the Taliban had actually won, “with the referee of their swords and also guns, and are now responsible because that the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen.”

And what that the honor and property that Afghanistan’s erstwhile occupiers, the United states of America? gone missing. Today, hundreds of interpreters and also their households await vi to the U.S., while Taliban fighters parade triumphantly in caught tanks and humvees paid for by Uncle Sam.

In the 20 years since September 11, 2001, the unified States has actually spent more than $2 sunshine on the war in Afghanistan.That’s $300 million dollars every day, every day, for two decades. Or $50,000 for each that Afghanistan"s 40 million people. In baser terms, Uncle Sam has actually spent an ext keeping the Taliban at bay 보다 the net worths that Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, bill Gates and also the 30 richest billionaires in America, combined.

Those headline numbers encompass $800 exchange rate in direct war-fighting costs and $85 exchange rate to train the vanquished Afghan army, i m sorry folded in the weeks since the Pentagon’s sudden beforehand July closure that Bagram Air force Base eliminated the promise of waiting support versus the advancing Taliban. U.S. Taxpayers have been providing Afghan soldiers $750 million a year in payroll. Every told, Brown University’s prices of battle Project estimates the complete spending at $2.26 trillion.

And the costs are also greater in terms of lives lost. There have been 2,500 U.S. Armed forces deaths in Afghanistan, and practically 4,000 an ext U.S. Civilian builders killed. That pales beside the estimated 69,000 Afghan armed forces police, 47,000 civilians killed, to add 51,000 dead the contrary fighters. The cost so much to care for 20,000 U.S. Casualties has actually been $300 billion, with an additional half-trillion or so expected to come.

We’ll keep incurring expenses long after president Biden"s pullout from Afghanistan is complete. Naturally, the united States has actually financed the Afghan battle with obtained money. Brown university researchers calculation that more than $500 exchange rate in interest has currently been payment (included in the $2.26 trillion full sum), and also they figure that by 2050 the price of attention alone on our Afghan battle debt might reach $6.5 trillion. That amounts to $20,000 because that each and also every U.S. Citizen.

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Videos taken from the tarmac the the Kabul airport indicate that the 6,000 U.S. Troops sent out there have actually not been able to establish a perimeter even roughly the runways, wherein Afghanis are presented crawling end one one more to squeeze onto planes. One trip is carried 640 people, with more than 10,000 U.S. Citizens claimed to still be awaiting evacuation and thousands an ext sheltering in place. Some were so desperate to flee Taliban ascendancy that they clung come the landing gear of transports departing Kabul airport, only to autumn to your deaths together the plane began that climb.

There’s even less hope of escape for the generation the Afghan women and also girls who prospered up in a somewhat an ext liberalized time, but now face mandatory burkas and evaporated prospects for education and also employment (a extension of the Taliban’s “War against Women.”) There room an approximated 1.6 million more women to work in Afghanistan’s workforce than twenty years ago. The Taliban guarantees to reverse that all, in ~ a human expense incalculable.

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Christopher Helman

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I"m a reporter top top glossesweb.com" wide range team covering billionaires and their fortunes. Ns was formerly an assistant editor reporting on money and markets because that glossesweb.com, and I spanned stocks together an intern in ~ Bloomberg. I i graduated from battle each other University in 2019, where I majored in math and was the sporting activities editor for our college student newspaper, The Chronicle. Send news advice to htucker