Blood and Treasure

Twenty years of war in Afghanistan cost over 241,000 lives and $2.26 trillion


Justice Politics

The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, at Brown University, has a “Costs of War” website which presents “U.S. Costs to Date for the War in Afghanistan, in $ Billions, 2001-2021” (published in April 2021). The cost in blood and treasure is immense. A link to the web page is at bottom; first, some highlights:

  • Through April 2021, the U.S. “has spent $2.26 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
  • Almost a quarter of the cost is on “Interest on War Borrowing to Date.”
  • The Institute estimates that “241,000 people have died as a direct result of this war,” not including deaths “caused by disease, loss of access to food, water, infrastructure, and/or other indirect consequences.”
  • Total civilian deaths top 71,000.

No comment is necessary, and none is given except that figures from at least May through August 2021 will eventually be added to this.


[Edit, made April 8, 2022: the Watson Institute link originally cited below is down, so an alternate link at is given below it.]

The link:

The link:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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