By Dr. Arif Javid
Afghan War is entering its third decade and the West’s quest for finding a solution through use of military force appears to be an utter failure. As stated by Kimberly Aamadeo in the Balance Magazine in August 2018, the Afghanistan War has cost $1.0.7 trillion.
The cost of this war has affected everyone; the claimants of the conquest (US-led conquistadors) as well as the innocent people of the Af-Pak region. As per Kimberly Aamadeo “The real cost of the Afghanistan War is more than the $1.07 trillion added to the debt. First, and most important, is the cost borne by the 2,350. U.S. troops who died, the 20, 092 who suffered injuries, and their families who have to live with the consequences.
More than 320,000 soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq have traumatic brain injury that causes disorientation and confusion of those, 8,237 suffered severe or invasive brain injury. !n addition, 1,645 soldiers lost all or part of a limb. More than 138,000. have post-traumatic stress disorder. They experience flashbacks, hyper vigilance, and difficulty sleeping.
On average, 20 veterans commit suicide each day according to a 20.16 Veterans Affairs (VA) study. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America found that 47 percent of its members knew of someone who had attempted suicide after returning from active duty. The group considers veteran suicide to be its number one issue.
The cost of veterans’ medical and disability payments over the next 40 years will be more than $1 trillion. That’s according to Linda Bilmes, a senior lecturer in public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “The cost of caring for war veterans typically peaks 30 to 40 years or more after a conflict,” Bilmes said.”
The Guardian report of Sep 2018 with the title, ‘A national emergency: suicide rate spikes among young US veterans’ confirms figures given by The Balance website, more than 6,000 veterans have killed themselves each year since 20.0.8, according to the VA data. It is also alarming that 30.% of all veterans have considered suicide as an option to overcome their PTSD.
While the Military Industrial Complex and hawks of the US would still want the Wars of Necessity to continue, the financial and psychological cost of the prolong Afghan imbroglio will undoubtedly prove that “Afghan war” is another Vietnam for US .
The writer is a political analyst; views expressed by him are entirely his own.