Home > Uncategorized > How many American troops does it take to change an Afghan lightbulb?

How many American troops does it take to change an Afghan lightbulb?

It is just a simple math problem.

In the current war in Afghanistan, about 2,000 Taliban troops are killed each year.  The US Pentagon is currently spending about 100 Billion dollars a year in direct costs for the war effort.  Indirect costs for the war amount to a similar number of 100 Billion dollars per year.

Thus, the cost of each Taliban troop killed is about 50 Million dollars.

I know that both the costs of the war and the cost of the underlying issues are not a simple math problem, but I think that if 50 Million dollars per year went to each of the 35,000 active Taliban fighters, then there is likely to be a lot less war and a good bit more goodwill in much of the world towards the United States and multinational corporate powers.  There would still be many reasons to distrust the Big Monied powers of the North and there is no clear rationale for providing funds to the Taliban, but switching from bombs and bullets to water, food, and blankets – a whole lot of them – would certainly make a lot of poor and angry people a lot less so.

Oh, I know, the world is not so simple, and the Taliban and Iraqi, Iranian, and other extremists are not going to accept goodwill from the West – yadda yadda yadda – but I am a dreamer.  I have a dream – and I am not going to let it go.  I think most kids in the world would agree with me – and I much prefer to be on the same side as the kids, not the old farts who believe that the bitter realities are perpetual.  They are not sustainable.


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