The fiasco in Afghanistan already leaves the US with a bill of 2.26 trillion dollars

New York 16 / 08 / 2020 – 18: 25

The takeover of Kabul by the Taliban over the weekend suddenly put an end to two decades of presence US and its NATO allies in Afghanistan. An abrupt denouement to the longest combat mission ever launched by Washington that leaves in its wake a payout of more than 2, 26 Trillions of dollars, according to calculations by The Costs of War Project at Brown University.

This figure includes more of 143.270 millions of dollars in reconstruction work , something that far exceeds the Marshall Plan with which the US resurrected Europe after World War II. However, it does not incorporate the funds that the US government is obligated to spend on the lifetime care of veterans who have participated in the war or future interest payments on money borrowed to finance it.

In addition, the management of many of these funds has also been called into question. In a report presented to Congress in October 2020, the watchdog responsible for overseeing the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan estimated that some 19 had been lost. 000 million dollars in this way between May 2009 and 31 December 2019.

Resources the EU Despite the fact that most of the money and troops for the operations of the NATO in Afghanistan they have been supplied by the US -which has lost more than 2. 300 soldiers During his mission, the European Union and its member countries have also allocated significant resources. Since 2002, Brussels has provided more than 4. 000 million euros in development aid to Afghanistan , which makes the country the largest beneficiary of Brussels development aid in the world.

At the same time, many European countries, including Spain, also contributed troops to the various military missions led by Washington. The UK and Germany, which had the largest number of troops in Afghanistan after the US, spent about 30.000 Y 19. 000 millions of dollars respectively over the course of the war. Around 450 British soldiers and 59 Germans perished in combat.

In any case, after the announcement of the start of the withdrawal of their troops, The US and NATO pledged a total of 4. 000 million dollars annually up to 2024 to fund Afghanistan’s own forces, and only so far this year has NATO shipped to Afghanistan supplies and equipment worth 72 million dollars.

To date, the Afghan economy has been supported by international aid , especially from the US. Today, about 90% of the Afghan population lives on less than $ 2 a day. The coming to power of the Taliban makes the economic outlook for the country even more uncertain, which has mineral reserves worth up to $ 3 trillion, as well as gold and other industrial metals, according to the New York Times.

The most important thing for the future of the country, perhaps, are the huge deposits of lithium, a key material for electric batteries.

Still, the sudden change of course in the country opens the door to other countries, such as Russia or China. This country shares a border of 76 kilometers, and has tried to maintain unofficial ties with the Taliban along the withdrawal from the US. Indeed, a high-level Taliban delegation met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin last month, offering support and investments to rebuild the country. Thus, the takeover of the Taliban opens a strategic door to the Asian country.

Meanwhile, the country remains in chaos. The images at the Kabul airport were a vivid reflection of the complicated situation he is experiencing, with thousands of people invading the airfield runways , and trying to grab onto a United States aircraft. At least five people were killed.

In this climate of upheaval, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, urged the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, “especially to the Taliban “, to exercise” maximum restraint “, ensure humanitarian aid and” protect “civilians, after the insurgents have conquered the capital, Kabul.

Brussels fears a migration crisis One of Europe’s biggest fears is that the prospect of a Taliban government could trigger a new wave of mass migration , with a large number of Afghans seeking asylum in the Old Continent. In fact, according to Politico, Afghans were the main nationality among irregular arrivals to the EU in 2019 and 2020. European officials do not expect an imminent migration crisis, but fear one will occur in the coming months. At the end of last month, Brussels was already considering a new package of financial aid to Afghanistan and its neighbors to help limit the flow of refugees from the country. The plan would include funds to Pakistan and other countries in the region to prevent a new flow of asylum seekers to the EU. However, at that time, any future support was conditioned on maintaining democratic progress in Afghanistan.

In the current year, the EU plans to allocate some 57 million euros to humanitarian aid to the country . Last week, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on the Taliban to respect human rights. He also warned that if power were taken by force and an Islamic Emirate restored, the Taliban would face “non-recognition, isolation and a lack of international support.”


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