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The fallout of war has a price in southern Afghanistan. U.S. Army units fighting the Taliban in Helmand province have a compensation system for any death, injury or damage to crops and buildings caused by American forces to Afghan civilians and their property.
The American units carry a list that gives guidance on payouts:
The death of a child or adult is worth $1,500-$2,500, loss of limb and other injuries $600-$1,500, a damaged or destroyed vehicle $500-$2,500, and damage to a farmer's fields $50-$250.
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Since 2001, the military has paid more than $32 million to Iraqi and Afghan civilians for noncombat-related killings, injuries and property damage, the army said. How many claims have been filed, or paid, is unclear, although extensive data has been provided in reports to Congress.
The Congressional Research Service estimates that since the invasion of Afghanistan eight years ago, the U.S. has spent closer to $227 billion. The Pentagon puts the number at $156 billion.
The variables include which expenses are actually included and whether the total relies on how much Congress has approved for the war compared with what the Pentagon has actually spent.
Michael O'Hanlon, a defense analyst at the Brookings Institution, says one useful way to break down these huge numbers is to look at how much it costs to send just one soldier to war.
"We are at a point where it's unbelievably costing us close to a million dollars, in additional costs — above and beyond salaries and the equipment that's already in the inventory — per soldier or Marine per year," he says.
Fighting in Afghanistan means fighting in one of the most remote regions on Earth, and that plays a large role in the seemingly astronomical figure.
Dov Zakheim, a former chief financial officer for the Defense Department, says the $1 million price tag includes getting the soldier to Afghanistan, getting his equipment to Afghanistan, and moving the soldier around once in the country.
"So, it's the cost of some allocation of the cost of the plane, some allocation of the cost of the fuel, some allocation of the cost of the pilots, the maintenance folks," Zakheim explains. "If you focus just on the soldier, it seems outrageous. But if you focus on the support for the soldier — that's not all that outrageous at all."
“We like to say that dependability is more important than ability,” Bill Belichickism....
Re: Obama paying hundred and thousand dollars for Afghanistan's limb and broken bones
Why are we still in Afghanistan, can't stupid Jug Ears see that this is just another Viet Nam, Obama would be an American Hero if he stopped the Bush Wars and Closed Gitmo, we need a new President NOW.
Hey Sean Penn.
When your all done in Haiti can you and Susan Sarandon picket the White House with some of your liberal wife swapping friends, we need you, you used to be great at this anti war stuff maybe Jon Stewart can help you, see if you can do something about Gitmo too your Hollywood Pals used to go nuts over that one when Bush was running things.
I Love You, you screwy looking little ass hole.
NO MORE FOOD STAMPS FOR AUNT ZUCCHINI
Harry Boy (Genius)
In The Absence Of Law And Order Society Will Surely Destroy Itself