That’s $300 million dollars per day

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

In the 20 years since September 11, 2001, the United States has spent more than $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan:

That’s $300 million dollars per day, every day, for two decades. Or $50,000 for each of Afghanistan’s 40 million people. In baser terms, Uncle Sam has spent more keeping the Taliban at bay than the net worths of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and the 30 richest billionaires in America, combined.

Those headline numbers include $800 billion in direct war-fighting costs and $85 billion to train the vanquished Afghan army, which folded in the weeks since the Pentagon’s sudden early July closure of Bagram Air Force Base eliminated the promise of air support against the advancing Taliban. U.S. taxpayers have been giving Afghan soldiers $750 million a year in payroll. All told, Brown University’s Costs of War Project estimates the total spending at $2.26 trillion.


Naturally, the United States has financed the Afghan war with borrowed money. Brown University researchers estimate that more than $500 billion in interest has already been paid (included in the $2.26 trillion total sum), and they figure that by 2050 the cost of interest alone on our Afghan war debt could reach $6.5 trillion. That amounts to $20,000 for each and every U.S. citizen.


  1. Bob Sykes says:

    That’s enough money to build a manned base on Mars, not the Moon, Mars. You might also have a von Braun Space Wheel in Earth orbit, a la 2001.

  2. Sam J. says:

    My God, that’s a fortune. I ran some numbers on the homeless one time. I’m not actually without a heart although some may think so.

    I find it absurd that the US government spends so much money and still people live under bridges and in tents on the sidewalk. I don’t care if they are drug addled or not sleeping in ditches can’t help you overcome addictions.

    I personally think if they had a place to stay they would be more likely to clean themselves up. Maybe not right away which would fire people up with righteous indignation but the idea that they had some stake in the world and didn’t have to live on streets would be a good motivator in my opinion. And even if they never did and drank and drugged themselves to death at least they wouldn’t clutter up the sidewalks and we could keep them all in one place to watch them.

    I did this on $133 billion from an earlier figure they said we wasted in Afghanistan. Here’s the numbers,

    $133 billion. The average cost of building apartments is $200 per square foot. I used the higher figure and then figured 500 sq. foot per person. A tiny space but good enough if it’s free. Average suburban house is 2,598 square feet for four people so it’s not that much smaller. The figure came to 1,330,000. So we could build that many apartments and since wikipedia says,”…553,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night…” we could end homelessness in the US. I bet that we could easily get well below $200 a sq. ft. $100 easy and double this number or maybe the apartments a little bigger at 800 sq.ft. which would be a good size.

    People live all the time in RV’s which have around 180 sq. ft. just fine.

    Whether you hate the homeless or not it would seem to me we should spend the money on our poor first if we are going to throw money around.

    I’ve often thought we build interstate highways all wrong. They constantly have to be redone and by being on the ground they interfere with animals and normal traffic that should not have to go around, over or under them. They should be up in the air.

    If we actually had all that money instead of burning it up in Afghanistan I was wondering what it would cost to do what I said.

    I found links that said it cost $4 million a mile to expand a road 2 lanes. I think we could do this much cheaper by using automation.

    I found the number of Interstate Highways miles and it’s 47,432 miles. At $ 1 million a mile it comes to $47,432,000,000. That’s not even close to what we spent there. Even at $4 million a mile it’s still only $189,728,000,000.

    I think it would be nice to have columns 40 feet up every 100 feet. A beam would rest on top of the columns. Then beams on top of those longitudinally down the roadway would be installed between the columns. One for each lane and would rest on top of the beams on top of the columns. The roadway would be three layers of rectangular concrete. They would be say 6″ thick x 6′ x whatever length need to go at a 60 degree angle. The reason for the angles is to not have bumps in between each slab. I’ve ridden on such highways before and they are jarring. If you hit each slab at an angle it would not be so bad. Now the roadway would have three layers of slab alternating at 60 degrees. So one would be at 60 degrees and the next would be at 300 degrees and the next would be at 60 degrees. In each slab there would be many many slots(like a grate) with some small distance, just a number, say 1.5cm wide and 6′ long(You’d have to build some of these and see what the noise level and water flow would need. These slots would be the opposite in the slab below so that the slot would be open all the way through. This would allow rain to go through.

    Having all the slots at an angle would mean less noise or jarring when driven over.

    The point is these could all be factory done and then loaded on a truck. Alignment holes could be made into each slab and these placed down and then the alignment holes used to wedge in place.

    You could have a few that had angles by making one end bigger and the other smaller to make curves. As long as you made them all the same you could probably get by with less than 10 different mold sizes. The whole thing would then be tied together with steel cable to resist earthquakes and other disasters. The reason for alternating the slabs is so that even if they separated or there was damage people wouldn’t fall through to the ground. Enter and exit ramps would be the same. Mass produced with slightly less long slabs.

    To really make it nice have a bike and walking track just below the road way on the side that went beneath the road and the enter and exit ramps one lane wide.

    If you made these with Basalt rebar they would last forever or at least thousands of years. If the top layer of concrete slab wore you could just replace it with another just like it.

    So let’s make my stupid roadway an astronomical $10 million per mile (I expect it would be cheaper than even regular roads), $474,320,000,000 and then house all the homeless at 800 sq. ft. each $133 billion, hell let’s triple the housing and add it to the highway and we get $873,320,000,000 and we still haven’t got to the money we wasted in Afghanistan.

    For what we spent there we could house the whole US population at 133 sq. ft. at $200 a sq. ft. I expect we could do a lot better with mass production.

    I like to put numbers on things like this because the actual numbers are so abstract that they are hard to get a handle on but when you start adding up what all could have been done it becomes clear what a monster FU this was.

  3. Obaid says:

    The United States has spent more than $2 trillion on the war in Afghanistan in the 20 years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In other words, $300 million dollars each day, every day, for the next 20 years. Alternatively, $50,000 for everyone of Afghanistan’s 40 million inhabitants. In purely monetary terms, Uncle Sam has spent more to hold the Taliban at bay than the combined net worths of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and the other 30 wealthiest billionaires in the United States of America.

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