Causalities of The US War in Afghanistan: Who Actually Won? Sauid Ahmed Khan


In August 16, 2021, Taliban enter Afghan capital and seized control of the Afghanistan following the collapse of the Afghan government. Taliban take over Afghanistan before two weeks of troop withdrawal of the U.S army and allies. After Taliban’s take back power, America’s two decades war in Afghanistan end. Political analysts and war veteran says U.S.A lost in Afghanistan war by withdrawing their forces from Afghanistan. Many of them compared to fall of Saigon in 1975. But I don’t agree with them. I think withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan is the strategy of US. Because they have finished their imperialist spread business from Afghanistan. Previous history show, America doesn’t spend a single penny without their interest.

Once Alexgender the Great said, Afghanistan is “easy to march into but hard to march out of”. America’s so called “War on Terror” was plotted by after 9/11 attacks and Taliban led Afghan government’s sheltering Al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan. In October 7, 2001 US military lead allies invented Afghanistan officially ended 2021. 20 year longest war cost many human lives. In this two decades war 2448 US military killed in Afghanistan. 3846 US contractors, 66000 Afghan Military and Police, 1144 NATO members, 72 journalists, 444 aid workers, 51191 Taliban and other oppositions are killed. According to UNAMA 111,000 civilians killed and injured since 2009. In this two decades more than 48,000 Afghan civilians lost their life. 2.1 million People become internally displaced and 2.7 million are refuge to neighboring countries.

Meanwhile the public has learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. (A famous line from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove movie) America’s twenty years long war in Afghanistan cost more than $2 trillion. America spends $300 million per day for twenty years in Afghanistan. (Forbes, Aug 16, 2021) In this long time war, $800 million cost for war fighting, $44 billion on Reconstructing program by USAID and other officials and $85 billion to train Afghan army. US spent about $143.27 billion on reconstruction activities. NATO sent $72 million worth of humanitarian aid and equipment. Sixty Percent of aid for project is funded by US based NGOs to rebuild Afghanistan. In the last twenty years, corruption was rise u and US billion dollars aid made this situation worse. In 2019 election only 1.8 million people voted, whereas Afghanistan’s total population is 39 million.

There’s proverb, “In time of famine, the devils feed on flies”. U.S accounted for 25% – 40% of global arms trade. In 2020 fiscal year US exports $175.08 billion authorized arms and weapons. In August 2, 2002 former US President Bush signed the Supplement Appropriation Act, which authorized $50 million Foreign Military Finance (FMF) funds and $20 million for Peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. By this act, US arms buyers can use FMF fund as loan to purchases military weapons, military hardware, service, and training from private US companies. In 2005, US allowing sells to government to government arms trade under Foreign Ministry Sales act. In 2020, Afghanistan imports weapons estimated $227 million from USA.

I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be; was the final speech of diamond smuggler Danny (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Blood Diamond movie. Afghanistan has over 1,400 mineral fields containing Gas, Coal, Copper, Iron, Chromite, Barite, Lithium, Gold and Uranium. Afghanistan is holding 1.4 million tons of rare untapped mineral wealth; worth $3 trillion (Independent, Oct 23, 2011). Afghanistan has no local ownership requirements and its constitution doesn’t allow for nationalism in mining business. 20% corporate tax has been imposed by Afghan government. 2019 SOS International (SOSi), a Virginia based mining company lines to the US military, won access to mines across Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani’s brother Hashmat Ghani is a major shareholder of a SOSi subsidiary. (Benn & Kopplin, OCCRP, 28 April, 2021) In 2018 British Mining Ventures Limited Company started mining in Afghanistan.

Drug is the United States third commodity value after Petroleum and arms trade. (Chossudovsky, 2005) Afghanistan produces 90% 0f total opium, the raw material of heroine. US invented Afghanistan largely to restore the heroin industry and now it’s making about $1.5 trillion every year. (Press TV, 2017) The value of Opium trade production was worth between $4.1- $6.6 trillion every year. When Taliban firstly seized power they reduced opium production in Afghanistan from 3300 tons to 185 in 2001. But continuously opium cultivation was rising after US supported government took power.

This drug market lack of success in the heroin front is due to the fact that the CIA of the US, which encouraged these heroin barons during the Afghan war of the 1980s in order to spread heroin addiction amongst the Soviet troops, it is now using them in search for Bin Laden. (B. Raman, South Asia Analysis Group, August 7, 2002) In 2008, a report of The Hindu newspaper said, 80% of all drugs produced in Afghanistan in Southern and Southeastern province are shipped abroad by US aviation. 590 million to 1.5 trillion money laundering is directly linked trade in narcosis is laundered western banks and financial institution. (Michael Chossudovsky)

Taliban also involved in narcotic business. They buy Kalashnikov AK-47 from border area of Uzbekistan by selling drugs. In 2009, The Guardian’s report come out with exciting information that Afghan border police chief is a smuggler himself. No one can do smuggling without his knowledge. They have their price and they take their cut 20 dollars on each weapon, $100 for a kilo heroin.
Brown University’s costs of war project estimated the total spending at $2.26 trillion for US in Afghanistan, which triggered $6.5 trillion with interest in 2050. However US didn’t make the same mistake like Vietnam War. The have taken away their profits with interests a long time ago. An administration official of told the newspaper in a statement that, “any Central Bank assets of Afghan government in the US will not be made available for Taliban”. US freeze nearly $9.5bn of Afghan reserves to block Taliban access to fund. (DAWN, 18 October, 2021)

The author is a student of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka.