May 3, 2024

Brown University’s cost of the Afghan war project just concluded that America’s longest war cost an estimated $US 2.2 trillion dollars – that’s ‘trillion dollars.”

If we add in George W. Bush’s fake `war on terror,’ Brown’s scholars estimate that the cost rises to US $8 trillion!

Most of this huge amount was financed by loans, not through taxes. Meaning that every dollar spent must be paid for by borrowing. That means paying interest (raised by taxes) on the borrowed money – $95 billion dollars of taxpayer money that Biden just gave to Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine in a desperate attempt to buy the November election.

Interestingly, the much-ballyhooed war in Afghanistan has all but vanished from the media. All the CNN generals who postured on TV about the Afghan War have fallen into silence. They were dead wrong about the war. The minute Donald Trump ended the Afghan War by cutting off the billions in US money that kept the corrupt US-backed Kabul regime alive, the war ended and the blizzard of propaganda against Taliban abated. The $2.2 trillion war abruptly became unimportant.

I was blacklisted by top newspapers and TV stations in the US, Mideast and Europe for having predicted that the Taliban resistance movement would win the conflict. I wrote that Taliban was the only legitimate mass political movement in Afghanistan. America co-opted other groups, like the heroin-dealing Tajik Northern Alliance and some anti-Taliban factions backed by Russia or Iran. The US ended up backing the Afghan heroin trade – which Taliban has completely shut down since it returned to power in Kabul.

The United States is the most over-propagandized nation on earth. Americans are barraged around the clock by government propaganda, commercial messages, internet agitprop and pro-war movies. Even the old Soviet Union was not so flooded by non-stop propaganda.

Today, we get 24/7 advertising for Ukraine, Taiwan and, of course, Israel. Women have been a particular target for the anti-Taliban propaganda – the same Taliban that were US allies in the 1980’s, as I saw. Taliban’s mountaineers are a wild and crazy bunch of warriors. Everything they believe in runs counter to the overly feminized United States.

The zeitgeist of the Afghan warriors Taliban’s credo is ‘tobacco, guns, and war.’

My columns about why war in Afghanistan was a huge mistake made me an object of hate. A former born-again evangelical prime minister of Canada actually sent his flunkies to get my 40-year old column dropped from the nation’s largest newspaper. He detested what I had to say but apparently lost no sleep over the scores of Canadian soldiers he sent to their death in Afghanistan or the millions wasted on the foolish Afghan War.

Politicians and generals who lose wars and trillions of dollars should admit their folly and resign. The media that promoted the colonial Afghan war should be rid of the propagandists infesting its ranks. Today, we see CNN, the New York Times, and Fox, the twin voices of America’s neocons, cheer-leading for the massacres in Gaza.

Instead, those newscasters who shilled for the Afghan War are now busily promoted President Biden’s wars. They and TV commentators seem to have no shame when it comes to their hugely bloody, expensive errors in Afghanistan. Nor do we find many commentators or critics who share the least guilt over carpet bombing Afghan villages by B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers.

How many Afghan civilians did we kill? The Pentagon refuses to release estimates. The Soviets are estimated to have killed two million Afghans. I believe the US has killed at least one million.

A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there, suddenly we are taking about real money. Part of the dangerous inflation that today bedevils America was caused by reckless government spending on Afghanistan – as well as Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Copyright. Eric S. Margolis 2024

This post is in: Afghanistan


  1. This money printing shows up in inflation of assets. The stock market yes, but on a much larger scale the inflation of real estate making hundreds of billions$ annually for speculators, banks and developers. This money comes out of the pockets of productive people, in effect a tax on one property owners and renters.
    Mass immigration has the same effect and benefits the same group. Wars and deficit spending make more than just the industrial-military complex rich. It is also hugely benefits the money economy elites.

  2. Asif Niazi says:

    Thanks for saying it clearly and honestly, as always. Afghans claim they caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. Perhaps the 2 trillion cost will cause the demise of US and Afghans will add another collapsed empire to their claim.

  3. The Work Farce says:

    Speaking of hypocrisy I’ve done a great deal of research into the history of the 20th Century from 1900-1945 and have found that there lies a large myth at the heart of Western culture since 1945.
    The story we’ve been led to believe all these last 80 years since 1945 is that WW II was caused by British PM Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler in 1939. But appeasement had been the foreign policy embraced by England, France and Germany since WW I. Those three nations were determined to placate one another to avoid another war.
    Winston Churchill supported Mussolini’s Fascists through the 1920’s. He supported and encouraged Hitler and the Nazis through the 1930’s. And he supported Franco’s Fascists along with the Nazis in the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
    It was this decades-long appeasement of the Nazis and support for Fascism that was the major factor in permitting Hitler and the Nazis to re-arm and start WW II.

  4. The Work Farce says:

    Speaking of horrible hypocrisy and egregious wars waged under false pretenses, the British became masters of the universe conquering a quarter of the world to establish their Empire by such evil in the 19th Century. The US has done the same in the 20th and 21st centuries.

    The road to perdition is paved with bad pretenses. The US is the most evil warmonger in the world and the UK is now their silent partner. As, Shakespeare said, the evil men do lives on. Much of the world still believes the lies and hypocrisy of the US and UK. It seems like just yesterday the 1960’s student generation discovered George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Then they realized the entire wealth of the US was built on slavery. of African Americans and genocide of American Indians.

    Unfortunately after the Vietnam War, baby boomers joined the Establishment burdening the world with endless imperialist wars, racism, economic terrorism, political corruption, breakdown of democracy, increasing inequality, failure of the justice system, the health care system, the housing system, and on and on…

    After years of research I’ve discovered an enormous source of hypocrisy that led to WW II. Some of today’s student protesters are aware of it but even the most radical are frightened of bringing it into the political media arena.

    I’m talking about the major causes of WW II. The old story is that WW II was caused by Germany’s desire for revenge after WW I. According to the old story Hitler and the Nazis were the evil force responsible for WW II and the blame for the start of it was placed on the British PM in 1939, Neville Chamberlain. The story goes that Chamberlain was the weakling who appeased Hitler, believing that Hitler wanted peace, and was thus the ultimate cause of the war. The truth is otherwise.

    Appeasement was the foreign policy embraced by Britain, France and Germany since the end of WW I. Nobody wanted another war and all the European powers were determined to pacify, placate and satisfy one another rather than provoke one another.

    No European power was more determined to placate Hitler and the Nazis than Great Britain. From the end of WW I through WW II, 40 years, the most powerful political force in England was Winston Churchill. Churchill was an antidemocratic classist, sexist, racist, royalist, imperialist, fascist warmonger. Churchill was an avid admirer of Mussolini and the Fascists through the 1920’s. He was an avid admirer and encourager of the Nazis through the 1920’s and 1930’s. He was a supporter and encourager of Franco and his Fascists in Spain through the 1930’s. When the International anti-Fascists tried to establish a Republic against Franco’s Fascists in 1936, Churchill, as well as the US and Canada supported Franco and the Fascists because the Republicans were being supported by the Soviet Union.

    Churchill and his wealthy imperialists hated the Soviet Union . They were afraid socialism and communism would rise in Britain and they would lose their enormous imperialist wealth. For the same reason they supported and encouraged Hitler and the Nazis. WW II could have been prevented if the West had stopped Franco and his Nazi allies in Spain. Unfortunately the Fascists won that war against democracy. Churchill and the West did not help the International Brigade but encouraged Franco’s Fascists and Hitler’s Nazis.

    The British and Americans, including Prescott Bush, re-armed the Nazis, US Standard Oil sold the Nazis the oil for their huge new war machine.

    These egregious pro-fascist policies were not merely appeasement. They were appeasement to the extreme of siding with Fascists and Nazis against democracy. Churchill hoped the Nazis would control and even defeat the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union.

    Imagine Churchill’s horrible dismay when the Nazis and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact.

    Sometime in 1937 or 1938 Churchill woke up and realized Hitler was planning to invade and conquer Europe but also Britain.

    Due to his amazing power of rhetoric and propaganda, he quickly became the great protector of Britain and democracy against the rising Nazis and Fascists of Germany and Italy. As it became obvious that war was inevitable in 1939, it was left to PM Chamberlain to try negotiating peace with Hitler. This of course had become impossible. The honest, decent and democratic Chamberlain, facilitator of many progressive advances for the British people through the 1930’s, was sadly overmatched by Hitler. He never had a chance. He came home from a meeting with Hitler in 1939 waving a piece of paper and proclaiming “Peace in Our Time”.

    As a warmonger since the 1890’s, Churchill knew war with Germany was inevitable. Churchill managed to manipulate public opinion all over the world to saddle Chamberlain with the blame for the outbreak of WW II, for having appeased Hitler! It was one of the biggest lies in world history.

    Churchill quickly became PM and Chamberlain was thrust into ignominy. To this day, Chamberlain is saddled with the blame for WW II for having appeased Hitler.

    At some point during WW II, Churchill said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” The world has completely believed and bought Cburchill’s warmongering fascist accounts of WW II and the entire history of Europe since 1918! Churchill became the savior of Britain and the Western World, the savior of democracy!

    But the truth is, after Hitler, following Hitler, the second most important cause of WW II was Churchill’s admiration, support, encouragement, and appeasement of Hitler’s Nazis for many years through the 1920’s and 1930’s.

  5. When the American Corporate Empire starts a war their goal isn’t victory it’s to profit off of it and they will do as much as possible to extend it as long as they can to wring out every penny they can. This also extends to America restoring the opium industry after the Taliban destroyed it. Then there were the money hungry wastes of taxpayer money like the 690 million dollar power plant built in Afghanistan that was never turned on because it was designed to use the most expensive fuel on the market, diesel, and the Afghan government could never afford to fill the tanks.

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