The Cost of Maintaining Troop Level in Afghanistan

President Obama recently told America that he plans to leave troops in Afghanistan instead of reducing troop levels, which he said he would do. The number of troops that will remain in Afghanistan is 8,400. The President had hoped to draw down troops to about 5,500.

The announcement came from the White House and, with it, Obama is essentially leaving major decisions concerning Afghanistan to the next president. With only a few more months left in his presidency, this seems like a rational decision.

President Obama said: “The decision I’m making today ensures that my successor has a solid foundation for progress in Afghanistan, as well as the flexibility to address the threat of terrorism as it evolves. I firmly believe the decision I’m announcing is the right thing to do.”

US in AfghanistanWhile this may be a good decision, on numerous fronts, it will not be cheap. According to Todd Harrison, a senior fellow and director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it is estimated to cost an additional $3.5 billion in 2017 alone.

Harrison tweeted some details:

This number, he explained, is the full cost of the deployed soldier and includes the expense of contractors. This is an important fact because there is an estimated 3 times as many contractors working in Afghanistan as there are troops from the US. According to the April census report from Central Command, there are 28,626 contractors in Afghanistan and there are about 9,640 US troops.

About 48 percent of the contractors are working in maintenance and logistic. The rest are working base support roles, security, administration, construction, translation services, and other areas.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain
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