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# Killing each Taliban soldier costs \$50 Million

Discussion in 'Economics' started by TorontoTrader2, Oct 10, 2010.

Was this posted? A bunch of rag tag "camel jockeys" located half a world away post a threat to a 1st World nation who spends almost 1/2 of all tax dollars on WMD and the war machine? Ha!

Killing each Taliban soldier costs \$50 Million

Killing 20 Taliban costs \$1 Billion / Killing all the Taliban would cost \$1.7 Trillion.

The Pentagon will not tell the public what it costs to locate, target and kill a single Taliban soldier because the price-tag is so scandalously high that it makes the Taliban appear to be Super-Soldiers. As set out in this article, the estimated cost to kill each Taliban is as high as \$100 million, with a conservative estimate being \$50 million. A public discussion should be taking place in the United States regarding whether the Taliban have become too expensive an enemy to defeat.

Each month the Pentagon generates a ream of dubious statistics designed to create the illusion of progress in Afghanistan. In response this author decided to compile his own statistics. As the goal of any war is to kill the enemy, the idea was to calculate what it actually costs to kill just one of the enemy. The obstacles encountered in generating such a statistic are formidable. The problem is that the Pentagon continues to illegally classify all negative war news and embarrassing information. Regardless, some information has been collected from independent sources. Here is what we know in summary and round numbers:

1. Taliban Field Strength: 35,000 troops

2. Taliban Killed Per Year by Coalition forces: 2,000 (best available information)

3. Pentagon Direct Costs for Afghan War for 2010: \$100 billion

4. Pentagon Indirect Costs for Afghan War for 2010: \$100 billion

Using the fact that 2,000 Taliban are being killed each year and that the Pentagon spends \$200 billion per year on the war in Afghanistan, one simply has to divide one number into the other. That calculation reveals that \$100 million is being spent to kill each Taliban soldier. In order to be conservative, the author decided to double the number of Taliban being killed each year by U.S. and NATO forces (although the likelihood of such being true is unlikely). This reduces the cost to kill each Taliban to \$50 million, which is the title of this article. The final number is outrageously high regardless of how one calculates it.

To put this information another way, using the conservative estimate of \$50 million to kill each Taliban:

It costs the American taxpayers \$1 billion to kill 20 Taliban

As the U.S. military estimates there to be 35,000 hard-core Taliban and assuming that no reinforcements and replacements will arrive from Pakistan and Iran:

Just killing the existing Taliban would cost \$1.75 Trillion

The reason for these exorbitant costs is that United States has the worldâs most mechanized, computerized, weaponized and synchronized military, not to mention the most pampered (at least at Forward Operating Bases). An estimated 150,000 civilian contractors support, protect, feed and cater to the American personnel in Afghanistan, which is an astonishing number. The Americans enjoy such perks and distinctions in part because no other country is willing to pay (waste) so much money on their military.

The ponderous American war machine is a logistics nightmare and a maintenance train wreck. It is also part-myth. This author served at a senior level within the U.S. Air Force. Air Force âsmartâ bombs are no way near as consistently accurate as the Pentagon boasts; Army mortars remain inaccurate; even standard American field rifles are frequently outmatched by Taliban weapons, which have a longer range. The American public would pale if it actually learned the full story about the poor quality of the weapons and equipment that are being purchased with its tax dollars. The Talibanâs best ally within the United States may be the Pentagon, whose contempt for fiscal responsibility and accountability may force a premature U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Americans cannot continue to fund these Pentagon excesses.

If President Obama refuses to drastically reform the Pentagonâs inefficient way of making war, he may conclude that the Taliban is simply too expensive an enemy to fight. He would then have little choice but to abandon the Afghan people to the Talibanâs âSuper-Soldiers.â That would be an intolerable disgrace.
The problem is not simply within the Pentagon.

The hapless U.S. State Department is equally to blame. It:

1. Continues to sit on the sidelines of this war;

2. Refused for nine years to deploy an adequate number of civilian experts;

3. Continues to hire abusive and disreputable security contractors;

4. Failed to fight for the needs of Afghan civilians; and

5. Has made little effort to win their hearts and minds.

A crucial statistic that demonstrates this is to compare military and security expenditures by the United States in Afghanistan with expenditures for civilian aid, such as reconstruction. That statistic is as follows:

Money spent on Military/Security: \$365 billion Money spent on Afghan civilians: \$8.5 billion

This latter number spells out âFAILURE.â U.S. diplomats and USAID officials have failed to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans and as a result they have accomplished the impossible. Their lack of resolve and interest has made an increasing number of disillusioned Afghans view Taliban rule as potentially an improvement.

bring all our boys home waste of time money and lives.

2. ### bearice

USA is fighting a losing battle in Afghanistan. USA should learn from Russia and withdraw all their soldiers from Afghanistan and bring them back home. If Russia could not win in Afghanistan so will USA not win in Afghanistan.

The cost of a gallon of gas delivered to USA units in Afghanistan has risen to \$800. Eighty percent of the supplies of the US-led forces in Afghanistan come up this long, difficult route. Along the way, the USA pays large bribes to Pakistani officials, local warlords, and to Taliban.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis208.html

3. ### PocketChange

Well the real motive is to tap and control the mineral wealth there. Lithium, Opium and make sure to break the deals they had cut with the Chinese.

4. ### Free Thinker

its an epic disaster. i used to feel bad for the soldiers killed and maimed in this disaster. i dont give it much thought anymore. i figure any soldier stupid enough to still be in the military deserves what they get because after 10 years of war you have had plenty of time to get out.

5. ### Scataphagos

Would the presumed profit from "the real motive" justify the expense? Doubt it.

It would be cheaper to simply nuke Afghanistan, and for that matter, Pakistan.

This way the alliance can bring its boys home asap.

7. ### endsongs

Where are the good ole' B-17s and B-29s when you need em?

Roasted boys?

9. ### piezoe

"...Just killing the existing Taliban would cost \$1.75 Trillion"

This is nonsense because it assumes the cost per person killed will remain constant -- when in fact the cost per person killed falls as the number killed goes up. So in Iraq, for example the cost was approximately 7 million per person killed.

Even though the figure of 1.75 trillion is way of base, the insanity of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which have made US citizens less safe, is obvious to most. You simply cannot win a war against religious ideology with conventional armies and military tactics. The "Christians" and "Muslim" worlds have been killing either their own or each other for centuries. Then when you throw in the Jews and the Hindi into the mix you have a recipe for endless conflict.

Why not insist that churches, synagogues, mosques and temples recruit and pay for these wars by taxing them to the full extent of the cost. Leave the rest of us alone. We have far more helpful things to do with our time and money.

(The total cost of the Iraq war is estimated by economists to be between 3 and 4 trillion. The total cost of the Afghan war, including interest and veterans benefits, will surely be, at minimum, at least half this, say 1.5 trillion as a very conservative figure. Add them together and you have conservatively at least 4.5 trillion. Divide by 350 million and you get \$12,857 per US man, women and child. I'd like to see the costs of these wars expressed in dollars per person by the media instead of as lump sum figures. Failing that, simply write checks to all Iraqis and Afghans for \$1000 each per year for the next 81 years (there are 26 million Iraqis and 29 million Afghans) with the stipulation that the checks will stop if there is a terrorist attack on US territory originating in either country.)

10. ### Pekelo

..or when we kill less, the cost goes UP, because the cost of staying there is constant or sligthly rising.

Your argument works both way, but anyway, it wasn't nonsense. We would be better off building anything there, instead of blowing it up...

#10     Oct 11, 2010
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