A Defense Department report found that between Sept. 11, 2001, and April 2018, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria have cost United States taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion, CNBC reports.
The three current military operations — Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq, and Operation Noble Eagle for homeland security in the U.S. and Canada — account for $185.5 billion of that amount, with the funds going toward training, maintenance, food, clothing, medical services, equipment, and paychecks. The war in Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn, cost $730.9 billion, while Operation Enduring Freedom, mostly in Afghanistan, cost $584.3 billion.
U.S. troops have been fighting in Afghanistan for the last 17 years, and there are about 14,000 Americans serving there now. Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis said he was pleased that peace talks are underway with the Taliban, and "right now, we have more indications that reconciliation is no longer just a shimmer out there, no longer just a mirage. It now has some framework, there's some open lines of communication." Catherine Garcia