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Afghanistan War hits the $500 billion mark

by Ryan Jaroncyk, published

The Afghanistan War has hit the half-a-trillion dollar mark today.  Launched under President Bush and intensified under President Obama, the war has lasted over eleven years.  Just last month, 26 US soldiers died in this war theater, and 3 have died so far this month. Overall, since the war's inception, 1,893 US soldiers have been killed and over 14,000 have been wounded.

Financially speaking, it should be noted that under both President Bush and President Obama, the Afghanistan War has been financed through deficit spending.  Since 2001, the federal budget has never been balanced, which effectively means that the war has been funded through borrowing.  And in conjunction with the Iraq War, PTSD and a startling suicide rate have plagued the US military throughout the same period.

President Obama, who ramped up spending and doubled the number of US troops in Afghanistan, plans to hand over primary security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2013, a year ahead of schedule.  GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum have criticized Obama's accelerated withdrawal schedule, while Dr. Ron Paul continues to be the only candidate who advocates a complete and immediate withdrawal.

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