U.S. Spends $11.6 Billion Training Afghans

According to USA Today:

U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for training and equipping Afghan security forces. That cost was $9.2 billion in fiscal year 2010, $11.6 billion in 2011 and $11.2 billion for 2012. Construction and equipment account for about half the bills but will ebb as most forces will be housed and outfitted over the next year, Fuller said.

Do you know how much money 11.6 billion dollars is? Let’s put it in perspective with elementary schools. In 2009, there were 67,148 elementary schools in the United States. Dividing up 11.6 billion dollars equally over all elementary schools, each school would have received $172,752.

The average elementary school teacher in public schools in the U.S. in 2008 made $49,220. This means that each elementary school could have hired three additional teachers and paid their full salaries and overhead with the money.

We’re being told that sending the money to Afghanistan is a “good investment.” The same article says:

Fuller estimates maintaining Afghan forces will cost about $4.5 billion a year by the end of 2014, most of which the impoverished country cannot pay for on its own.  Fuller said aiding the forces is a “good investment” given that it costs about $1 million a year for one U.S. soldier to live and fight in Afghanistan.

Let me state this clearly:

The United States of America would have been better off putting three additional teachers into each elementary school. It would have helped our children, and it would have created 201,444 jobs.

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