When the US decided to expand its civilian presence in Afghanistan in 2009, it had little idea of how much it would cost. Now a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has been able to answer that question.
In increasing the number of US civilians from 320 in early 2009 to 1,040 by June this year, the US has spent nearly $2 billion. It costs US taxpayers between $410,000 and $570,000 to deploy one civilian employee to Afghanistan for one year and those costs will undoubtedly rise. Remarkably this is the first time any US agency has worked out how much it costs to keep civilian staff in country.