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New report estimates $2.5 trillion for post-9/11 war vets care

The findings come amid calls in Washington for the US to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.

Reporting | Asia-Pacific

Amid the tragic scenes from Kabul this week in the aftermath of the Taliban’s complete takeover of Afghanistan, those on cable news programs and beyond claiming the U.S. military should never have left are rarely, if ever, asked key questions about what that actually would mean in practice.




How long would we have to stay? And at what cost? 




Aside from American military casualties that would result in the likely event that the Taliban begin attacking U.S. troops again after having broken the 2020 Doha peace deal, or the billions upon billions it would cost to maintain an indefinite presence in Afghanistan propping up an illegitimate government rotted to the core with corruption, a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War projects points to perhaps another hidden price tag: long-term care for veterans. 




The report estimates that from 2001 to 2050, it will cost U.S. taxpayers between $2.2 and 2.5 trillion to care for veterans of America’s post-9/11 wars, and that “the majority of the costs associated with caring for post-9/11 veterans has not yet been paid and will continue to accrue long into the future.” 




According to the Costs of War project, “Expenditures to care for veterans doubled from 2.4 percent of the federal budget in FY 2001 to 4.9 percent in FY 2020, even as the total number of living veterans from all U.S. wars declined from 25.3 million to 18.5 million.” The total costs won’t peak “until decades after the conflict, as veterans’ needs increase with age.”




The report recommends establishing a fund to track and set aside money that will be needed for the long-term care of these vets. 


President Joe Biden talks with Ret. Michigan Army National Guard Cpl. Bobby Body Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Cpl. Body was injured in February of 2006 while deployed to Iraq where he suffered a left above knee amputation and multiple other soft tissue injuries from a mounted improvised explosive device. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Reporting | Asia-Pacific
Diplomacy Watch: Russia could be invited to Ukraine-led peace talks

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Janet Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury. (Reuters)

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QiOSK

On Tuesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen strongly endorsed efforts to tap frozen Russian central bank assets in order to continue to fund Ukraine.

“There is a strong international law, economic and moral case for moving forward,” with giving the assets, which were frozen by international sanctions following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, to Kyiv, she said to reporters before a G7 meeting in San Paulo.

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Activist Layla Elabed speaks during an uncommitted vote election night gathering as Democrats and Republicans hold their Michigan presidential primary election, in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Will Michigan ‘uncommitted’ disaster wake Biden up on Gaza?

QiOSK

A protest vote in Michigan against President Joe Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza dramatically exceeded expectations Tuesday, highlighting the possibility that his stance on the conflict could cost him the presidency in November.

More than 100,000 Michiganders voted “uncommitted” in yesterday’s presidential primary, earning 13.3% of the tally with most votes counted and blasting past organizers’ goal of 10,000 protest votes. Biden won the primary handily with 81% of the total tally.

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