The Afghanistan US Troop Surge Is Officially Over


This happened on Friday, to “little fanfare“:

The American military says it has completed what it called the “recovery,” meaning withdrawal, of the 33,000 surge troops it had sent to Afghanistan two years ago, more than a week ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline President Obama set for them to go home.

Here a few more numbers to keep in mind as we approach the 2014 deadline for withdrawal of US combat forces:

68,000: The number of US troops still stationed in Afghanistan.

117,227: The total number of Department of Defense contractors working in Afghanistan.

34,765: The number of US citizens working as contractors in Afghanistan.

9,355: The number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan since Obama took office.

18,553: The total number of civilian casualties since the war started.

1491: The number of US troop casualties in Afghanistan since Obama took office.

2121: The total number of US troop casualties since the war started.

$385,600,000,000: The estimated financial cost of the war in Afghanistan to the US taxpayer since Obama took office.

$557,300,000,000: The estimated financial cost of the war in Afghanistan to the US taxpayer since October 7, 2001.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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