Frank Ledwidge, author of damning study Investment in Blood, says failing, bloody campaign has cost £2,000 per UK household
The war in Afghanistan has cost Britain at least £37bn and the figure will rise to a sum equivalent to more than £2,000 for every taxpaying household, according to a devastating critique of the UK’s role in the conflict.
Since 2006, on a conservative estimate, it has cost £15m a day to maintain Britain’s military presence in Helmand province. The equivalent of £25,000 will have been spent for every one of Helmand’s 1.5 million inhabitants, more than most of them will earn in a lifetime, it says.
By 2020, the author of a new book says, Britain will have spent at least £40bn on its Afghan campaign, enough to recruit over 5,000 police officers or nurses and pay for them throughout their careers. It could fund free tuition for all students in British higher education for 10 years.
Alternatively, the sum would be enough to equip the navy with an up-to-date aircraft carrier group, or recruit and equip three army or Royal Marine brigades and fund them for 10 years.
In the first full attempted audit of what he calls Britain’s “last imperial war”, …read more