How the U.S. Paid for Death and Damage in Afghanistan

An armored vehicle ran over a six-year-old boy’s legs: $11,000. A jingle truck was “blown up by mistake”: $15,000. A controlled detonation broke eight windows in a mosque: $106. A boy drowned in an anti-tank ditch: $1,916. A 10-ton truck ran over a cucumber crop: $180. A helicopter “shot bullets hitting and killing seven cows”: $2,253. Destruction of 200 grape vines, 30 mulberry trees and one well: $1,317. A wheelbarrow full of broken mirrors: $4,057.

A child who died in a combat operation: $2,414.

These are among the payments that the United States has made to ordinary Afghans over the course of American military operations in the country, according to databases covering thousands of such transactions obtained by The Intercept under the Freedom of Information Act. Many of the payments are for mundane incidents such as traffic accidents or property damage, while others, in flat bureaucratic language, tell of “death of his wife and 2 minor daughters,” “injuries to son’s head, arms, and legs,” “death of husband,” father, uncle, niece.

End of quote.

The glories of war. But this war was never about winning anything in the traditional sense. It was about developing and cementing the opium supply and locking in access to rare minerals. Job done.

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