Afghan security personnel arrive after a deadly suicide attack in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor said a group of gunmen stormed the office of the non-governmental organization, Save the Children. (AP Photo)

By Sal Rodriguez
The Orange County Register
February 7, 2018

America’s forever war in Afghanistan will cost $45 billion this year, a Pentagon official told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.

Now in its 17th year, there seems to be no end in sight to what has mostly become a futile effort at nation building. Depending on how you calculate it, the total cost of the war to date somewhere between $841 billion and $2 trillion.

With numbers like that, since the government was going to blow hundreds of billions or trillions anyway, it’s hard not to ponder all the problems we might’ve been able to solve here in the United States for that amount of money, or even a fraction of it.

The human cost is also staggering. More than 26,000 civilians have been killed, tens of thousands more injured, more than 2,000 American soldiers have been killed, and many more injured. The trauma and destruction of war will be felt for generations to come.

After all of that, it isn’t clear that the United States has accomplished very much. The Taliban continues to gain ground, report after report has come out documenting waste and fraud in US spending in Afghanistan and it is known that our military has long looked the other way as Afghan security forces sexually abused children and continued funding units engaged in human rights abuses.

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