One soldier, one year: $850,000 and rising
A US servicemember stands a post on a hill in Afghanistan. (CNN Photo)
February 28th, 2012
05:50 PM ET

One soldier, one year: $850,000 and rising

By Larry Shaughnessy

Keeping one American service member in Afghanistan costs between $850,000 and $1.4 million a year, depending on who you ask. But one matter is clear, that cost is going up.

During a budget hearing today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, asked Department of Defense leaders, "What is the cost per soldier, to maintain a soldier for a year in Afghanistan?" Under Secretary Robert Hale, the Pentagon comptroller, responded "Right now about $850,000 per soldier."

Conrad seemed shocked at the number.

"That kind of takes my breath away, when you tell me it's $850,000," Conrad said

A Pentagon spokesman later said a more accurate figure is $815,000 a year.

Regardless of which number is used Sen. Conrad would be really shocked by the estimate that the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments reached about the same issue.

"The cost per troop in Afghanistan has averaged $1.2 million per troop per year," the center's Todd Harrison wrote in an analysis of last year's Department of Defense budget.

Why the difference? Harrison said the center arrives at its figure by taking "the amount of money spent in Afghanistan for a year and dividing it up by the number of soldiers."

He believes Hale's estimate is lower because the Pentagon removes some costs, like construction, from the Afghanistan spending and divides that lower number by the number of troops.

But one thing is clear, the cost is rising. Hale said the Department of Defense figure was until recently $600,000 a year. And Harrison said the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments' estimate for 2012 is up to $1.4 million.

Harrison said there are two important factors contributing to the increase. There are fewer troops in Afghanistan than in 2011, and the latest Defense budget puts millions into war spending that in previous years were part of the department's base budget.

Hale sees another reason why it's climbing. The major component of the extra costs in Afghanistan are higher operating costs for weapons. When you're in a war you are operating a much higher tempo. "That's a good part that's probably 50% of the budget," he testified.

One thing is clear, the soldier impacts only a small percentage of that cost. A typical army sergeant with four years service makes a base pay of less than $30,000 a year.

soundoff (535 Responses)
  1. www.thetrailblazingnews.com home

    Hello, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boring I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

    http://nuevobancoentrerios.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://thetrailblazingnews.com/

    March 4, 2021 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  2. wearethenationnews.com style

    hello!,I really like your writing very so much! proportion we be in contact extra approximately your article on AOL? I need a specialist on this space to unravel my problem. May be that's you! Taking a look forward to look you.

    https://jamesattorney.agilecrm.com/click?u=http://wearethenationnews.com/

    March 4, 2021 at 3:33 am | Reply
  3. click here

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We've ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I am also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

    http://dir.curezone.com/c.asp?https://www.diigo.com/user/jerrys01

    March 3, 2021 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  4. http://theondecknews.com finance

    I have read a few just right stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you set to create the sort of excellent informative website.

    https://cse.google.com.sb/url?q=http://theondecknews.com/

    March 2, 2021 at 2:30 am | Reply
  5. เกมยิงปลา

    Very nice content here.I really like this blog so much a lot of content and very informative for everyone.Thanks.เกมยิงปลา

    https://www.slotcat777.com/blog/shooting-fish/11/Tips-for-shooting-fish-game

    March 2, 2021 at 2:13 am | Reply
  6. ClarkClurn

    xwc74 dyibc lnpz

    March 2, 2021 at 1:10 am | Reply
  7. ClarkClurn

    bujs9 7yrjb w4et

    March 1, 2021 at 8:01 am | Reply
  8. ClarkClurn

    7gfck xo30l qkcb

    March 1, 2021 at 6:28 am | Reply
  9. Nbmofiple

    cialis for low price http://buycialisxz.com/ cialis in egypt

    March 1, 2021 at 2:17 am | Reply
  10. froleprotrem

    Valuable info. Lucky me I discovered your web site by chance, and I'm stunned why this accident didn't came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    February 28, 2021 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  11. froleprotrem

    I like this blog so much, saved to favorites.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    February 28, 2021 at 4:51 am | Reply
  12. KndnVelm

    revatio vs viagra generic viagra name viagra name

    February 27, 2021 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  13. froleprotrem

    Real informative and excellent anatomical structure of articles, now that's user friendly (:.

    http://www.froleprotrem.com/

    February 27, 2021 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  14. viagra online

    https://genericviagragog.com sildenafil 20 mg

    February 26, 2021 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  15. Fjjufiple

    generic viagra price http://viagraonlinejc.com/ is there anything over the counter that works like viagra?

    February 26, 2021 at 11:38 am | Reply
  16. diigo jerrys01

    As I web site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling excellent , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

    http://images.google.com.lb/url?q=https://www.diigo.com/user/jerrys01

    February 25, 2021 at 9:28 am | Reply
  17. slotxo

    I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. slotxo

    https://www.slotcat888.com/blog/slot/15/slotxo-cahnge-to-slotcat888

    February 24, 2021 at 5:30 am | Reply
  18. shisha

    This piece of writing is actually a good one it hlps new
    neet viewers, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

    February 23, 2021 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  19. facebook

    I really appreciate this post. Ive been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You've made my day! Thx again

    https://64.233.167.149/url?q=https://www.facebook.com/clipsitnet

    February 23, 2021 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  20. facebook clipsitnet

    As I web-site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling great , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

    http://cse.google.tg/url?q=https://www.facebook.com/clipsitnet

    February 22, 2021 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  21. uFTyOkgiRZtz

    wlATUtGPhrjKNOq

    February 21, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  22. brujos

    hi!,I really like your writing so so much! proportion we communicate more approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look ahead to peer you.

    https://www.brujosnearme.com/

    February 21, 2021 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  23. brujos en linea

    Rattling excellent information can be found on weblog.

    https://www.brujosnearme.com/

    February 21, 2021 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  24. tadalafil 60 mg for sale

    what are tadalafil tablets tadalafil 40 mg daily tadalafilo 20mg

    February 20, 2021 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  25. www.thetrailblazingnews.com

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you actually recognise what you're speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my site =). We can have a link exchange agreement among us!

    http://images.google.com.ec/url?q=http://thetrailblazingnews.com/

    February 20, 2021 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  26. SocialMedia Services2021

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/

    https://bit.ly/2Hnl7vE

    February 19, 2021 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  27. Best Socialmediaservices

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more. Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/

    https://bit.ly/2Hnl7vE

    February 19, 2021 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  28. เกมยิงปลา

    Very nice article. Thank you so much. เกมยิงปลา link : https://www.slotcat777.com/blog/shooting-fish/11/Tips-for-shooting-fish-game

    https://www.slotcat777.com/blog/shooting-fish/11/Tips-for-shooting-fish-game

    February 18, 2021 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  29. www.thetuckernews.com home

    I think other site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

    http://images.google.com.tw/url?q=http://thetuckernews.com

    February 18, 2021 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  30. italian restaurants orlando

    You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really one thing which I believe I would by no means understand. It seems too complex and extremely large for me. I am taking a look forward in your subsequent submit, I will try to get the dangle of it!

    https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/christinis-ristorante-italiano/Location?oid=2292646

    February 18, 2021 at 8:17 am | Reply
  31. Labxreext

    venta cialis generico espaГ±a buy cialis soft online cialis et gamma gt

    February 17, 2021 at 10:37 am | Reply
  32. jungle scout nulled

    This is a special invitation to participate in the Live Workshop on the changes that are taking place
    in Amazon, and the best way to solve them to increase profits.

    February 17, 2021 at 1:01 am | Reply
  33. 1500 USA-Visitors-Daily

    500000 Scrapebox Blast Live SEO blog Comment Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/842132/500000-Scrapebox-Blast-Live-SEO-blog-Comment-Backlinks

    https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan

    February 16, 2021 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  34. Jbbnreext

    como tomar la cialis cialis colour lilly cialis sales

    February 16, 2021 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  35. 1000000GSA Backlinks

    Best Social Media Services and Website Traffic Services 2021: https://www.seoclerk.com/user/jackpower99

    https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/842081/1-000-000-GSA-Live-Backlinks-High-Quality-SEO-links-Bad-Links-Removal

    February 16, 2021 at 8:28 am | Reply
  36. https://exanlanro1977.netlify.app

    Executive Education Economist Pseb 10th Result 2019 How To Check

    my website :: pdf books; https://exanlanro1977.netlify.app,

    February 16, 2021 at 8:13 am | Reply
  37. Min Gennarelli

    http://jtayl.me/4nw9q

    https://tinyurl.com/y6k6om33

    February 16, 2021 at 4:00 am | Reply
  38. free weight loss books

    Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    thefreeweightlossbook.com

    February 15, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  39. Jbnvclups

    online cash loans centrelink quickbooks cash advance fast cash loans woodridge

    February 14, 2021 at 8:11 am | Reply
  40. Nbnhfiple

    where to order viagra online http://vigedon.com/ viagra prescription online

    February 13, 2021 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  41. Ahbzreext

    payday loan store milwaukee wisconsin student cash advances payday loans maine laws

    February 13, 2021 at 8:19 am | Reply
  42. https://shiatsu-web.com

    This is something New !

    https://maps.google.at/url?q=https://shiatsu-web.com

    February 13, 2021 at 8:06 am | Reply
  43. Minerva Goddard

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Run our Premium Unlimited Traffic Step 3: Setup your Paypal account. Then just sit back and relax while you watch your paypal account receiving payments during the whole day 100 in auto pilot. More info: https://www.k3reviews.com/2020/08/16/monster-mode-700k/

    https://www.k3reviews.com/

    February 12, 2021 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  44. KvaxVelm

    payday loan wisconsin ave appleton indian reservation payday loans payday loans in norwalk ohio

    February 12, 2021 at 8:38 am | Reply
  45. theondecknews.com news

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Stay up the good paintings! You understand, lots of individuals are hunting round for this info, you could aid them greatly.

    https://74.125.200.97/url?q=http://theondecknews.com/

    February 11, 2021 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  46. Fbsgfiple

    shopping for cialis http://llecialisjaw.com/ generic cialis (tadalafil) 20mg

    February 11, 2021 at 8:09 am | Reply
  47. consultas con brujos gratis por internet

    I?¦m no longer sure the place you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic information I was in search of this information for my mission.

    http://tadalafilonlinebestcheap.com/shifting-your-thinking-through-clairvoyant-powers/

    February 11, 2021 at 4:53 am | Reply
  48. brujas consultas gratis

    Its good as your other articles : D, regards for posting. "To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice." by Kahlil Gibran.

    https://milestonereading.com/considering-skeptical-in-clairvoyant-psychic-blood-pressure-measurements/

    February 11, 2021 at 3:57 am | Reply
  49. where to buy zithromax

    zithromax tablets https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax tablets

    February 10, 2021 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  50. nivaquine

    chlorowuine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ malaria drugs list

    February 10, 2021 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  51. plaquenil weight gain

    erectile dysfunction reviews https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile dysfunction when quitting drinking

    February 10, 2021 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  52. tadalafil 60 mg for sale

    tadalafil overdose https://tadalisxs.com/ 60 mg tadalafil

    February 10, 2021 at 8:25 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.