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Afghanistan: By the numbers

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 14:36:55-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Nearly twenty years after it began with a U.S.-led coalition air assault, the battle in Afghanistan ended abruptly Sunday when the Taliban reclaimed control of Kabul, the capital of the mountainous nation, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The U.S. role in the conflict, aftermath, and subsequent collapse of the Afghan government Sunday will be debated for decades, but the costs and other numbers associated with the conflict leave a lasting impression of just how much the battle took out of the United States.

Length of war: 19 years, 10 months – America’s longest war of any type, surpassing the Vietnam War in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Date Conflict was authorized – September 18, 2001

Number of times Congress has Constitutionally declared war in Afghanistan - 0

Casualties: (Source)
Deaths of U.S. Soldiers – 2,352 (Department of Defense)
Deaths of U.S. Contractors – at least 3,800 (Associated Press)
U.S. Soldiers Wounded in Action – at least 20,149 (Department of Defense)
Deaths of Afghan Civilians – at least 71,000 (Brown University)
Deaths of Afghan Troops – at least 66,000-69,000 (Associated Press)
Number of Afghans displaced to foreign countries – at least 2.7 million (Associated Press)

Financial Cost: (Source)
Total War Spending since 9/11 - $2.02 trillion appropriated by Congress. Also, the first U.S. conflict fully funded through deficit spending (Brown University)

Interest Owed on War Spending since 9/11 – if all military spending in Afghanistan and Iraq ended immediately...By 2050, the total for interest payments and the initial principal would be at least $6.5 trillion. (Brown University)