November 25th, 2009
05:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Afghanistan: Pay for it or charge it?

President Obama is set to announce his new Afghanistan strategy next week.

President Obama is set to announce his new Afghanistan strategy next week.

NEW YORK ( - War is expensive, and it's about to get more so if the U.S. government escalates its military efforts in Afghanistan.

President Obama is set to announce his strategy next week. And the question of cost hovers in the background of the difficult decision he faces.

Over the past eight years, the nearly $1 trillion cost of the military's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan was essentially charged to the national credit card.

Will it be different this time?

Full story on

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dean

    Send Afghanistan. a bill if they don't pay we pull out and go home.

    November 25, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. John Ca.

    I see no other way to pay for this war one, by selling more debt on the free markets why the FOMC>GOV will keep printing money and the dollar will get weaker and the fed will inject more money into the markets. Higher taxes to pay for two wars and health care. Still I think Pres. Obama id keeping America great for schools, housing, and little people. Tax the top 1% and the money will start pooring in! they pay 17% tax rate. peoples that make 36,000.00 a year get taxes at 25% rate ya, that fair?

    November 25, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. John Ca.

    Tax the top 1% with all the wealth in the United States and the money would pay for both wars so, the top 1% should buy more Treasury Dept. Debt so, they can get a return for some of this money they will be giving free to the government!

    November 25, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Funny Man

    Just Come Home..... No more nation-building. Why do terrorists attack us? They attack us because we are over there, not because we are rich and free. If they attacked us because we are rich and free, they would attack Switzerland before us.

    November 25, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    I think the wingnuts would want to support the war effort with their checkbooks. War is the only thing they seem to be willing to support without having a way to pay for it.

    November 25, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    Eight years and our war effort against Muslim terrorists only cost us nearly $1 trillion dollars, not bad considering that obama have to-date spent over $1 trillion plus dollars giving him the dubious honor of having spent more in his first year in office than any other President in U.S/ history. Can we afford another 3 years of obamanomics?

    November 25, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. terry,va

    Tax, Tax and more Taxes from the Liar in Chief. When are we going to revolt and tell them to come and get the money they are stealing?

    November 25, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Sandra,Atlanta

    Let's see. GWB's policy was charge it and oh by the way give higher income folks a tax break while we're at it. This is not by the way, Bush bashing. It is actually what he did!

    Never before in the history of the country have we gone into war without tax increases much less go into war and give tax breaks. It costs money folks! For you neo-cons, make up your mind.

    November 25, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    War gives the pro life right wingnuts a way of killing people, as long as those killed are not unborn. Killing civilians in an unnecessary war, is OK, and conforms to their religious beliefs. So I am sure they will support any tax that allows for killing.

    Don't say you are pro life when you are not.

    November 25, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    take all the pork from the corrupt democraps and it's paid for.

    November 25, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Bill

    Im curious as to how the expected costs compare to the amount spent on "Pork" this year ???

    November 25, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  12. Steve in North Carolina

    Gee as I recall the main purpose of the Federal Government is to provide for the common defense of the country. Our tax dollars should be spent for this first. We probably could afford it if the politicians weren't too busy wasting our money on TARP, and other pork barrel projects (including the so-called Health Care Reform) .

    I love how everybody is in favor of spending the money of the few that actually pay taxes. If we had a flat tax across the board with no exemptions, more people would be a bit more sensitive how their money is being wasted in Washington D.C.

    November 25, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. ran

    It needs to be different. If Bush had not given the tax brakes to the wealthy and not gone to war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan could be ending by now and most of the cost would have been covered. But no Bush and the GOP were not concern about the debt only about doing for the wealthy and keeping their power.

    Now President Obama and the rest of us will have to get us out of the Bush/GOP messes.

    I hope we vote in more Democrats and Independents in 2010/2012 because the GOP will not now or ever help us get out of the messes the created.

    November 25, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Independent

    Hey send some troops to Canada. Some of our roads need some (nation) rebuiding. WE HAVE OIL too!!!! And it's a lot closer too home. And there won't be any casualty's. At least you can say you beat us.

    November 25, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. [R]s are Dumbasrocks

    Well, as the article indicates, if we follow the Reagan/G. Bush paradigm, just make war now and put the cost of it towards the national debt. Its a pathetic joke that Reagan/Bush are known by their worshipers as fiscal conservatives.....their major policies were anything but fiscally conservative.....just more rightwing fairytales to tell their toothless, deluded followers.

    November 25, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. Perusing-through

    This is a war Cheney should had finish 7-years ago. In all of his hawkish bravado, Cheney has never explained why he could not find Bin Laden, or why he "dithered" as the Afghanistan war string along for 8 long years.


    November 25, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. mjm

    Well....if we can't afford this how can we afford this health care reform? Where were the articles against spending $849 billion and $894 billion?

    If we can't afford to defend this country then we CANNOT afford health care reform. They are saying 2 wars that cost 1 trillion over 8 years is too much, then $849-894 in one year is WAAAYYY too much. Plus the "stimuless" bill and Cap-and-trade. We are tapped out.

    So no health care reform, not more "stimuless" bills, no cap-and-trade...glad we got that settled.

    By the way...the Government has every right to spend tax dollars on defense, and ZERO right to spend tax dollars on those other things.

    November 25, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Bpin

    I am not sure the Afgans look at this as their war. The majority of them would rather us get out. It is a religous war like most in the ME are. Good luck to anyone that can get a penny of that money back.

    November 25, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Here's how to pay for it:

    Roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, returning the highest rate to 39% (what it was under Reagan).

    Bush pushing through tax cuts during wartime was not only unprecedented in our nation's history, it was totally irresponsible.

    But then that’s to be expected from a bunch of Chicken hawks who thought we'd be greeted as liberators in Iraq and walked away from serious efforts in Afghanistan when the situation became difficult …

    November 25, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. jay

    It is time that we all must make a sacrifice for this war, not just the military and their families. This war tax is the way to show our support for our troops.

    As it stands now, the American military is at war; other Americans are at the mall.

    November 25, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  21. Perusing-through


    Thank you Cheney for leaving the U.S. in an 8-year long war in Afghanistan that should have been won and cleaned up in the first year America's valiant and honorable troops got their. But because you (Cheney) decided to convince Bush to go into Iraq for WMDs that were not there, the U.S. is now left with your mess and lacking patience.

    May GOD Bless the United States of America,
    May GOD Bless the Obama-Biden Leadership

    November 25, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Cindy

    There needs to be a smarter way to finish this war. Our "throwing money into the wind" cowboy style, without the buyoffs from other countries around the world... it doesn't work in today's global economy.

    If John McCain had been elected instead of Barack Obama, we would have another war (or 2 or 3) by now. Instead, we have developed cooperation and understanding with Russia and China to pressure Iran to agree to inspections, amongst other things. It's not perfect, but it's way better than the alternatives we were on track for.

    I still trust our President. I still think he's on the right track. If he was totally pascifist, he would have withdrawn the troups by now, and left Afghanistan's fragile government to blow in the wind alone. He's obviously not either extreme. This is how it should be.

    November 25, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. No more war

    Now that Obama has revealed himself as a complete fraud I can't see a way out these wars except by stirring the public's apathy by introducing a war tax and reinstating the draft. Otherwise its just the troops that are at war, not the citizens?

    November 25, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. Waiting for 2012 to correct our error

    Put the over priced health care disaster on hold until the economy turns around and the war is done. Why should the wealthy support everyone about everyone pay their fair share, including the 47% of Americans who pay NO income tax?

    November 25, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. T'SAH from Virginia

    EVERYONE wants to speculate!!! Wait until next week and you will see what is going to happen!! Jeez – there is only ONE Commander in Chief and his name is Barack Obama!!

    November 25, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
1 2