U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, left, hands over his command to Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, right, at a ceremony at Resolute Support headquarters, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 12, 2021. The United States is a step closer to ending a 20-year military presence that became known as its “forever war,” as Taliban insurgents continue to gain territory across the country.
FILE – In this June 25, 2021, file photo a wall surrounds Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. In 2001 the armies of the world united behind America and Bagram Air Base, barely an hours drive from the Afghan capital Kabul, was chosen as the epicenter of Operation Enduring Freedom, as the assault on the Taliban rulers was dubbed. It’s now nearly 20 years later and the last US soldier is soon to depart the base.
The nearly 20-year American combat mission in Afghanistan was the United States’ longest war. Ordinary Americans tended to forget about it, and it received measurably less oversight from Congress than the Vietnam war did. But its death toll is in the many tens of thousands, and generations of Americans to come will be burdened by the cost of paying it off.
As the U.S. commander for Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, relinquished his command in Kabul on Monday, here’s a look at the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, by the numbers.
Much of the data below from Linda Bilmes of Harvard University’s Kennedy School and from the Brown University Costs of War project. Because the United States between 2003-2011 fought the Afghanistan and Iraq wars simultaneously, and many American troops served tours in both wars, some figures as noted cover both post-9/11 U.S. wars.
Percentage of U.S. population born since the 2001 attacks plotted by al-Qaida leaders who were sheltering in Afghanistan: Roughly one out of every four.
American service members killed in Afghanistan through April: 2,448.