Costs Of The Afghanistan War, In Lives And Dollars

The U.S. Embassy buildings are seen in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. The last-minute decision to send 3,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan to help partially evacuate the U.S. Embassy is calling into question whether President Joe Biden will meet his Aug. 31 deadline for fully withdrawing combat forces. The vanguard of a Marine contingent arrived in Kabul on Friday and most of the rest of the 3,000 are due by Sunday. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

(AP) – At just short of 20 years, the now-ending U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan was America’s longest war. Ordinary Americans tended to forget about the war, and it received measurably less oversight from Congress than the Vietnam War did. But its death toll for Afghans and Americans and their NATO allies is in the many tens of thousands. And because the U.S. borrowed most of the money to pay for it, generations of Americans will be burdened by the cost of paying it off. As the U.S. approaches its deadline for ending combat at the end of this month, Taliban fighters are threatening to erase much of what Americans had been there fighting for.

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