War in Afghanistan: the facts
US Commander Marine General Joseph Dunford to Senate Armed Services Committee:
“A withdrawal, in my mind, means abandoning the Afghan people, abandoning the endeavour that we’ve been here on for the last decade and then providing al-Qaeda with the space to begin again operations against the West.”
Harold MacMillan, handing over the prime ministerial reins to Alec Douglas-Home in October 1963:
“My dear boy, as long as you do not invade Afghanistan you will be absolutely fine.”
– Cost for Afghans is currently around 700 killed or seriously injured each month
– 2211 US lives lost since the 2001 invasion.
– 448 British lives lost, 404 through hostile action.
– Total bill for US is about $700bn.
– Or in the UK, more the £2,000 for every British family.
– the 350,000-strong Afghan National Army is completely equipped, trained and paid by the west at a current cost of $1.1bn a year.
– UN figures estimate about 80 per cent of civilian casualties are caused by Afghan insurgents.
– This is Britain’s fourth war in Afghanistan after previous actions in 1842, 1879 and 1919.
– All Nato combat operations have ceased in terms of ground forces and current levels are about 52,000 of whom 33,000 are US.
– British forces in Southern Afghanistan once operated 137 bases. Now it’s two as they pack up and leave.
– Nato wants a deal to keep around 12,000 trainers and special forces after 2014. President Karzai won’t agree but all presidential election candidates claim they will sign up to this.
– The UN reckons the Afghan “economy” to be 10 per cent conventional, 30 per cent opium and 60 per cent foreign aid.
– World Bank says property prices have halved in Kabul in past two years and “economy” contracted 10 per cent over fears of NATO departure.
– last month the US Congress cut civilian aid to Afghanistan by 50 per cent.