- Human cost of war: Soldier and civilian deaths and injuries have been escalating each year since 2001. Nearly 1000 U.S. soldiers have been killed while 32,000 Afghan civilians have died as a result of the war.
- Economic cost of war: Each soldier in Afghanistan costs U.S. taxpayers $1 million per year. Private military contractors, known to de-fraud the Pentagon, exceed the number of soldiers in the war. No matter the war’s outcome, the defense industry wins with windfall profits.
- U.S. economy in recession: We have reached 10.2 % unemployment, with many more who are underemployed or given up job hunting, accompanied by large cuts in human and social services. Put to peacetime uses, the 2009 cost of the war paid by Massachusetts citizen taxes would fund 600,000 Head Start positions, provide health care for 1.5 million people, and fund renewable electricity for 7.5 million citizens.
- Corrupt Afghan government with warlords in power: Despite the U.S. rhetoric to bring democracy and rights for women in Afghanistan, there are no signs of democracy or improved status of women since the war began. In fact, women report increased male violence in the chaos of war.
- Spread of war to Pakistan: Pakistan is a highly militarized country with nuclear weapons and an unstable government – a very risky situation within which to expand the war.
- Drone attacks by U.S. and NATO: Drone attacks have resulted in a large percent of civilian casualties and have increased anger toward the U.S., thus ensuring new recruits to terrorist organizations.
- War aid misdirected: 10% of the war budget is spent on “humanitarian” aid which mainly supports war objectives, such as road building for military trucks, not the lives of Afghan people.
- War funding contradiction: Taliban are paid by U.S. military contractors to protect military supply routes. Tens to hundreds of millions of U.S. war dollars are funding the Taliban whom the U.S is fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- Public opinion: More than half of Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan.
H. Patricia Hynes is on the board of the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice