Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rethink Afghanistan: The Cost of War

by Brave New Foundation
April 15, 2009

On the heels of President Obama’s request for an additional $83.4 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brave New Foundation is releasing the third part of its documentary feature Rethink Afghanistan which addresses the rising costs of the seven-year conflict. Titled, “The Cost of War,” the segment features experts and opinion leaders discussing the billions of US dollars spent since 2001 in Afghanistan.

“Right now, thru fiscal year 2009, the US would have committed or have spent more than $185 billion on the war on Afghanistan.” Jo Comerford, Executive Director, National Priorities Project

“You can’t fight a war and finance it the way we have without having an impact on the US economy.” Linda J. Bilmes, Coauthor of the Trillion Dollar War.

CNN estimates that each year, the US spends roughly $775,000 per soldier in Afghanistan. “The Cost of War” sheds light on the wasteful spending by US contractors and their subsidiaries. The Cost of War also addresses hidden and social costs that occur when US troops return home. The segment includes expert witness and testimony by:

· Rory Stewart - Director for the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Author of The Places Between.

· Dr. Ramaza Bashardost - Afghanistan’s former Planning Minister, a current member of parliament and an Independent candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election.

· Jo Comerford - Executive Director at National Priorities Project.

· Linda J. Bilmes - Chief Financial Officer and as Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at the U.S. Department of Commerce, from 1999-2001. Co-author of Give Us Back the Risk, and The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.

· Lawrence J. Korb - Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information.

· Winslow T. Wheeler is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information. Author of The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages U.S. Security.

· Steve Coll - President and CEO of the New America Foundation. Pulitzer prize-winning writer of Ghost Wars: the Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.

· Anand Gopal - Afghanistan Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.

· Ahmed Rashid - Journalist and best-selling author of Descent Into Chaos.

Rethink Afghanistan is a ground-breaking, full-length documentary being released in segments online and in real time which focuses on the key issues surrounding the war.
You can view the Cost of War trailer at: http://rethinkafghanistan.com/part3_trailer.php
You can view the Cost of War full video at: http://rethinkafghanistan.com/part3_full.php

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