Factoring in 2019 estimates, America’s longest war has cost $975 billion. Website The Balance
compiled annual costs of the conflict in Afghanistan
based on research from Brown University and that total makes it second only to the inflation-adjusted $4.1 trillion the U.S. spent during World War II. That’s despite the fact that U.S. families have not had to endure a noticeable economic impact from the war, even though there is no draft in place nor a tax to fund it.
Since 2001, the cost of the war in Afghanistan gradually climbed, particularly when President Obama committed so a troop surge soon after taking office. Costs reached their highest level in 2011 at $107 billion, the same year Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan. Since then, troop levels and costs have both fallen significantly as U.S. troops shifted towards training the Afghan military. The war still cost $52 billion in 2018 and it’s expected to cost the same amount this year.
Despite the end the end of major offensive operations on the ground, the level of airstrikes has intensified
significantly. As the Taliban retook swathes of the country and ISIS emerged in some of its corners, the U.S. dropped more bombs on Afghanistan than ever before. Over 7,300 munitions were dropped in 2018 according to U.S. Central Command data compared to 4,361 in 2017 and just 947 in 2015.