Logistics: There's Gold In Them Afghan Hills


May 19, 2010:  One reason the United States wants to get out of Afghanistan soon, is because, on a per soldier basis, it's more than twice as expensive as Iraq operations. That's mainly because it's much more expensive to move supplies into Afghanistan, which has no ports or railroads, and few hard surface roads. Thus, starting three months ago, it now costs more to run operations in Afghanistan ($6.7 billion in February), versus Iraq ($5.5 billion). There were about the same number of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan last February, and troops in Afghanistan, who have served in Iraq, note that living conditions are not nearly as comfortable in Afghanistan.

It's expected that total 2010 costs for Afghanistan operations will be $105 billion, while Iraq will cost $66 billion. By the end of the year, there will be 102,000 American troops in Afghanistan, versus 43,000 in Iraq. So far, the U.S. has spent $620 billion for Iraq operations, versus $190 billion for Afghanistan. Annual costs in Iraq peaked in 2007, at $140 billion. By next year, annual costs in Iraq will be $46 billion, versus $117 billion for Afghanistan.



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