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News Link • Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The high cost of war

• William Marsden, The Gazette

KANDAHAR – Summer in southern Afghanistan is a blast furnace. Temperatures rise over 50C. Air conditioning is what allows the frenzied pace of NATO’s war during the fighting season. The price is astronomical. The Americans have calculated that in the past two years they have spent $20 billion on AC. If you add the rest of NATO, that figure is probably well over $24 billion. That means that coalition forces spend more to keep themselves cool each year than Afghanistan’s gross national product.

Every drop of fuel, drinking water as well as every morsel of food consumed on NATO bases is imported into this landlocked country – most of it trucked in through Pakistan. The cost is enormous.

This year the U.S. Congress approved $113 billion U.S. for Afghanistan, which is five times Canada’s total defence budget.


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