The Afghan disaster and the warning of Jesus By Charles Bowyer for Christian Post
“Which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has the resources to complete it? Otherwise, if he lays the foundation and is unable to finish the work, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This man could not finish what he started to build.’ Or what king on his way to war with another king will not first sit down and consider whether he can engage with ten thousand men the one coming against him with twenty thousand? And if he is unable, he will send a delegation while the other king is still far off, to ask for terms of peace.”
As Christ taught us, let’s count the cost of our lost war.
- Dollars spent on the war in Afghanistan: $2.26 trillion
- GDP of Afghanistan: $19.29 billion
- American soldiers killed in Afghanistan: 3,200
- Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan in 2019: 1,422
- Afghanistan’s share of global deaths by terrorism: 41%
- Years America occupied Afghanistan: 20
- Days it took the Taliban to capture Kabul: 9
- Afghanistan’s ranking on the global terrorism index: 1
You can see in the infographic below, courtesy of Statista, how some of these stats have changed – in fact, gotten worse – over these past years.
This is the legacy of the War in Afghanistan: more terrorism, more instability, and more violence. Despite the UN, despite the World Bank, despite the IMF, despite the American, British, Canadian, French, German, and Italian military, Afghanistan in many ways is in a worse position today than it was even 20 years ago.
The excellent Orthodox conservative writer Rod Dreher recently pointed out that the War on Terror was bookended by men jumping out of American buildings to certain death on September 11th, and men falling off American planes to certain death twenty years later. This outcome was surely unimaginable to President Bush in 2001 when he ordered the invasion, or to President Obama in 2009 when he ordered a surge of US troops; that’s because they didn’t count the cost. Let’s go back, as we always should, to Him whose warnings our ruling class did not heed.