George Will: U.S. spending $1.4 billion per al-Qaeda fighter in Afghanistan

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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It has been a week since it was announced Osama bin Laden was killed within the borders of Pakistan. And since then, the idea that the United States no longer needs to be in Afghanistan is becoming more and more popular.

On Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC, Washington Post conservative columnist George Will, who has been calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan going back to September 2009, explained the math doesn’t add up if you consider al-Qaeda’s actual presence in Afghanistan.

“Well, it’s our longest war now,” Will said. “It’s ten years old, longest in our national history. Do the arithmetic. There are 140,000 coalition forces there. There are at the top estimate about 100 al-Qaeda fighters there. That’s 1,400 soldiers at $ 1 million per a year, $1.4 billion per al-Qaeda fighter. The arithmetic doesn’t make sense.”

According to Will, the real reason America remains in Afghanistan is because there’s a fear that instability in Afghanistan might spread to nuclear Pakistan.

“The point is we’re not in there about al-Qaeda,” he said. “We say we are but we’re not. We’re there because we think in some sense this is crucial to the stability of Pakistan about which we wouldn’t care half as much as we do if they didn’t have nuclear weapons so it all comes back to that.”