As United States President Barack Obama debates on whether or not to send an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, the war in the region is costing $1 million per soldier per year.
As the war in Afghanistan is in its eighth year, it will cost the American taxpayers just under $250 billion, according to Cost of War. Senior administration officials recently stated that the war in the region does have serious budget implications as officials in the White House discuss of adding an additional 40,000 troops as per the request of the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan; General Stanley McChrystal. The total cost of such an increase would be between $40 billion and $54 billion.
The New York Times reports that one US soldier in Afghanistan costs $1 million per year but Pentagon officials have stated, according to Reuters, that it would actually roughly be $500,000.
Whether or not Pres. Obama decides not to add more troops to the country, the total costs will completely wipe out the supposed savings of $26 billion from Iraq and, in the end, increase the military budget to just under $750 billion, which is 10 per cent higher than that of his predecessor; President George W. Bush.
United Press International notes that the President is aware of the soaring budget deficit and the national debt. The senior official said, “The president focused a lot on ensuring that we were asking the difficult questions about getting to an end game here.”
Nevertheless, Obama has asked for more details on the cost of the war and timelines before making any rash decisions. Georgetown University military analyst Christine Fair recently said the military objectives are unclear and the costs are an indicator of that, “It reflects the political climate. The leadership is confused, we're broke and most Americans don't know why we're there.”
These discussions come as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently came out and said he wants NATO to increase the number of troops by 5,000, reports Digital Journal.
Last month, the Los Angeles Times released two polls that show only 40 per cent of Americans support the war in Afghanistan, however 55 per cent of Americans trust the President to make the correct decisions in the region. Military personnel are also highly trusted among the American people as 81 per cent have confidence in them to make the right moves on troop levels.