The Congressional Research Service’s latest accounting [PDF] of the Global War on Terrorism, of which AFRICOM would be a part, puts the cost at $611 billion since 2001, not including additional recent requests of $147 billion and another $50 billion.
For less than that $808 billion spent in the last six years, we could provide universal primary education, reduce infant mortality by two thirds and provide universal access to potable water and not just for the United States, but also for the world. These Millennium Development Goals have languished with sporadic investment and big promises, while military solutions to problems are funded robustly.
Reexamining this imbalance seems like a crucial first step. And the battle for African hearts and minds will not be won if it’s clear that it is being waged more for the sake of U.S. strategic interests than African needs.
I urge you to read the entire article.