The sum includes some $13 billion for US forces deployed in the country, $5 billion for the Afghan troops and $780 million for economic and logistic support, Randall Schriver, the assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, told the Senate on Tuesday, as quoted by The Hill media outlet.
Senators criticized the planned costs of the operations in Afghanistan, asking whether the administration of President Donald Trump was going to launch negotiations with the Taliban radical movement.
Republican senator Rand Paul noted that billions of dollars were "just being thrown away down a hatch in Afghanistan" while the local authorities still "do not seem to be able to defend themselves."
In August, US President Donald Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy, in which he pledged to continue US support for the Afghan government and military in their fight against the ongoing militant insurgency aggravated by an unstable political, social and security situation. Trump also stated that the authority of US troops to target terrorists in Afghanistan would be expanded and approved sending an additional 4,000 troops to the country.
In November, the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University said in a study that the United States had spent $5.6 trillion on military conflicts in the Middle Eastern region since the 9/11 terror attacks with $877.4 billion of them spent on the operations in Afghanistan, including the Coalition Support Funds for Pakistan. According to the Pentagon's assessments, the total costs of the Middle Eastern wars amounted to $1.52 trillion, while according to Trump — to some $7 trillion.